Electoral officials have promised teachers on pre-university exam work that they will not be drafted for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council elections.

But, other teachers, including those involved in preparing for the SSLC examination which falls after the elections, are worried. They say that it will be difficult to juggle election duty with end-of-year academic responsibilities and work on middle-school and SSLC examinations.

Headmasters were mixed in their response. The head of a high school in Vijayanagar told The Hindu here on Thursday that drawing of teachers for poll duty would adversely affect the preparation for the SSLC examination which commences on April 1.

“Since polling dates almost coincide with the examination, we have decided to send only a few teachers this time,” said the headmaster.

Another headmaster in Vijayanagar said the school has decided to allow drafting of those who teach subjects such as drawing, physical education and music, for poll duty.

State Election Commission Secretary D.K. Ravindranath said that district election officers will draft the required number of personnel. Exams will not be affected since polling is on Sunday.

Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner M.K. Aiyappa said teachers on exam work will not be drawn for poll-related duties. He said only teachers from government and government-aided schools were being drafted for poll duty.

According to A.M. Kunjappa, Additional Commissioner, BBMP, drafting teachers for poll duty will neither affect academic work nor exam work, as training as well as the elections are being held on Sundays.

Mr. Kunjappa said that the polling process requires deployment of at least 35,000 government employees in the role of presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and polling officers. Employees from the Union and State Governments, public sector undertakings and banks will also be drafted for the purpose, he said.

As the dimension of the municipal body has almost doubled, from 100 wards to 198 wards, the requirement of polling personnel has also doubled.

In 2001, there were 3,374 polling stations and 15,000 personnel were drawn for poll duty.

This time, there will be 6,600 polling stations managed by 35,000 personnel, Mr. Kunjappa said.

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