‘No rationale behind the deployment of staff for MCD polls'

The polling exercise for the municipal elections for the new North, South and East Corporations may have passed off smoothly and peacefully, but it has left a bitter taste in the mouth of a large number of polling personnel who feel they were exploited and not adequately compensated. Moreover, questions are also being raised about the security of women polling staff being compromised as they were picked up and dropped in unescorted vehicles on the polling day.

A school teacher, who did polling duty in East Delhi, said there was no rationale behind the deployment of staff. “Those residing in North were given East Delhi and vice versa while those in South were given North-West and vice versa.''

On the day prior to polling, the polling staff underwent extensive training. Also the sectoral officers, who were provided vehicles and wireless sets, spent a large part of their time in waiting for these sanctions.After spending a long tiring day at work on Saturday, the polling staff started for work as early as 4 on Sunday morning. “There was virtually no rest. While the sectoral officers, who are mostly drawn from principals and vice-principals, got pick up and drop facility, such service was not provided to polling officers drawn from trained graduate teachers (TGTs) or the presiding officers drawn from post graduate teachers (PGTs).''

A resident of North-West Delhi, whose wife was on polling duty charged that while the Transport Department had engaged private taxis for ferrying the senior polling staff, adequate care was not paid to the security of women. “There were escorts in only those vehicles which carried the EVMs, but not in those that carried women officials to and fro the polling centres at odd hours. They should at least ensure proper security for women polling staff,'' he said.

Further, the monetary compensation that ranged between Rs.800 and Rs.2,000 per day for the laborious work, that stretched over 18 hours in most cases, has also got many fuming. “To top it neither food nor refreshments were served to the polling staff. At least this care should have been taken.''

  • ‘Those residing in North were sent to East Delhi and vice versa'

  • ‘Neither food nor refreshments were served to the polling staff'