Leh, Oct 20 : The campaigning for Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) election culminated on Tuesday while as the polling will be held on Thursday.
The 6th general LAHDC elections is scheduled to be held on 22nd October from 08:00 am in the morning to 04:00pm in evening while the first round of postal ballot election was conducted on 13 and 14th October.
Addressing a news conference, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, Deputy Commissioner Leh, who is also the Election authority, said that the permission granted to political parties and independent candidates has ceased to exist from 04:00 pm and during the campaign nearly four cases of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violation have been reported.
He said that the election is scheduled on 22nd October and the 48 hours will commence from today 04:00pm. “Thus, the entire election campaign will cease to exist,” he said.
“We have issued an order of 144 crpc and on the election day, all the business units in 100 meters of the municipal limits of polling booths will remain closed and in the rural areas the distance will be 200 meters. Also, the permissions given to political parties have ended now for any sort of political activity.”
“Authorized agents and candidates are allowed to move on Election Day while no one else will be allowed to make any sort of movement and anyone found violating the norms will be booked under the relevant laws as more strictness will be observed on poll day,” he said.
To a query about the challenges faced to ensure people in quarantine poll votes through postal ballots, he said that it was very typical to conduct the election of all those tested positive for COVID and those under home or administrative quarantine since everything was ensured for the entire fair voting.
He said that the main challenges were to avail the required amount of officials for the task and ensure safety gears for them to give them confidence to execute the things normally. “People cooperated in a very amicable manner that actually led to hassle free election but only few of the officials have been put under quarantine having symptoms while others are fit and healthy,” he said.
He said that in few of the nearby polling stations, 50 percent of women officials have been deployed and the shortage of officials got filled only because of them.
Asked about the number of cases registered under violation of MCC, the election authority said that nearly four cases have been reported but teams were constituted to take action well on time.
To a question whether any candidate contesting the LAHDC polls was put under quarantine, he said that initially when the forms were submitted, a few cases were reported but they were facilitated properly while presently there is nothing like that and in case there is any such case, every sort of arrangement will be ensured.
He also said that two polling stations without an approaching road were identified and with the help of air force, officials along with security forces were deployed there who have reached the spots.
So far, the officials of 122 polling booths have been dispatched along with the security forces and more are expected to leave tomorrow, he said.