Polling staff alleges neglect, DC denies

Greater Kashmir

‘No food, no tea, no water, we slept on naked floor’

Rafiabad, Apr 24: The polling staff deployed by government for conducting polls in the by-elections for Rafiabad and Dangiwacha Monday accused the authorities of neglecting them and leaving them in lurch. However the authorities dismissed the allegation stating that the staff was provided adequate facilities.
Every polling officer had a sorry to tell regarding what they termed as the “mismanagement” of the government during the election process. The polling official in Hudipora polling booth No. 22 located in government higher secondary institute Rafiabad complained that the government didn’t provide them any refreshment since the polling began on Monday morning. “We haven’t received tea or other refreshment since the voting began,” the polling staff told Greater Kashmir adding the people of the nearby area provided them the much needed refreshment.
They further complained that the authorities provided them three bread loaves and a piece of meat for the dinner last night. “The dinner was insufficient and we felt hungry during the night,” they further said.
Junior engineer Abdul Rashid, a polling official in the booth 59/B at Dangiwacha castigated the government for the poor arrangement. “We haven’t been given what we were promised by the government,” he said adding the officials in the booth slept on the floor as bedding wasn’t made available. He also said the polling officials were without food during the day.
While terming the polling booths as “dignified prisons”, the presiding officer at the polling booth No. 58 (A) at Dangiwacha A G Dar said that no arrangements were made for the employees on polling duty. “We have been deprived of the commitments made by the government,” he said adding the officials have faced immense hardships due to the government indifference.
Dr Mehraj-ud-Din, presiding officer in booth No 25 (A) at Roohama complained that their were no arrangement for the polling staff. “The polling officials slept on the floor without bedding causing immense hardships to them,” he said while terming the preparation as terrible.
Another polling official Ali Muhammad Shah while lambasting at the government said the government hadn’t done any groundwork creating problems for the pooling staff.
When contacted the Deputy Commission Varmul, Abdul Hamid told Greater Kashmir that the employees were given the option of either taking the money or the food to be provided by the government. “Most of the employees however opted for the money and therefore shouldn’t be sounding like that,” he said adding the authorities had already told the employees to bring along a sleeping bag or a blanket for the sleeping purposes.