PRESS CONFERENCE OF CEO SIKKIM
Gangtok, April 9 (IPR): The Chief Electoral Officer of Sikkim, Shri R Telang called a press conference at the Conference Hall at District Collectorate premises, Sichey, today.
The Press Conference was also chaired by the Spcl.CEO/ Sikkim Shri Prabhakar Verma and Inspector General of Police-Law & Order Shri. Gyanendra Kumar Verma.
The CEO Shri R Telang informed that the purpose of the Press Conference was to disseminate information on the preparations that have been done in the run up to the polling and the counting day, the various facilities for the voters, the arrangements in place and the various guidelines and issues that need to be highlighted and addressed.
The CEO notified that the total number of voters as on today are 4,32,306 with 2,12,001 female voters. Sumitra Rai, age 105 from 10-Poklok-KamrangAssembly Constituency is the oldest voter in the state. The state has a total of 567 Polling stations with 120 polling stations being identified as critical. Adequate CAPF forces and micro-observers have been deputed at these critical polling stations which will have webcasting arrangements as well. The polling station with the lowest voter count is Pakjer Primary School under 10-Poklok Kamrang AC with 175 voters and the polling station with the highest voter count is Arithang Jr. High School Room No.1 under 26 Arithang AC with 1405 Voters. Kupup Primary School under 21 Gnathang-Machong AC, situated at an altitude of 13,400 ft is the highest altitude polling station in the state with 288 voters. The CEO enlightened that there are 39 all women polling stations in the state which will be manned by all women polling parties and police forces. Along with this, 28 Model Polling Stations have been set up all over the state. 3600 Polling personnel including reserve polling personnel have been deployed in total. The state has been assigned 7 General Observers, 1 Police Observer, 8 Expenditure Observers and 2 Accessibility Observers for the General Elections.
He further informed that there are a total of 2042 PWD voters in the state who will be assisted by school going volunteers. There are various facilities in place for the PWD Voters like wheel chairs at Polling Stations, ramps wherever possible and free transport facilities to help the PWD voters commute.
The total number of candidates contesting stands at 161 which includes 11 candidates for the Parliamentary Constituency. 11 Counting Halls in 4 locations across the state will ensure smooth and timely completion of the counting process 1185 Ballot Units, 1185 VVPATs and 1185 Control Units will be put to use during the polling day.
The CEO further highlighted that more than 42000 mock votes have been cast during SVEEP awareness campaigns throughout the state covering 10% of the total voters of the state. He informed that allocation of all constituency voting machines, polling stations, polling parties and police teams have been randomised according to ECI Guidelines so as to rule out any fallacies. He informed that one voter guide is also being handed over to each family and voter slips have also been distributed to individual voters.
The CEO stressed that the secrecy of votes is paramount and extended sincere gratitude to all concerned for a swift and smooth election preparation.
The Inspector General of Police-Law & Order, Shri. Gyanendra Kumar Verma informed that the total police strength deployed for the elections all over the state is 4000 police personnel including the para-military forces . He mentioned that the forces are being utilised to the optimum, right from guarding of the Strong Rooms, manning critical polling stations and all women polling stations, conducting area domination drives amongst others. All firearms have been deposited with the police forces except for those that are commissioned to be used by the law and order forces. Shri Verma informed that 49 Sector Police Officers have been deputed along with 49 Sub Sector Police Officers and unaccounted cash and liquor amounting to Rs.18 Lakhs has been seized so far. He stated that prompt action has been taken and perpetrators have been booked. Shri Verma concluded that all security arrangements all over the state are in its prime thereby ensuring a safe environment for the voters of the state.