Telangana 2018

Staff on contract basis may be roped in for poll duties

The State election authorities have decided to seek permission of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for roping in staff to carry out election duties on contract basis.

The decision comes in the light of shortage of staff for poll duties. The Chief Electoral Officer has drafted the services of over 1.6 lakh employees for election duties, but shortages were felt in some districts like Medchal-Malkajgiri where the number of polling stations have gone up in view of the decision to set up auxiliary polling stations to meet the requirements.

Staff in reserve

“We are mandated to keep 20% staff in reserve, but are finding it difficult to draft them from the State resources and hence, the proposal to rope in contract employees. No employees drafted for the polling duties will be exempted, but for the cases where there can be unforeseen developments,” Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said.

For security arrangements, over 48,000 police personnel would be deployed. Of these, 30,000 have been drafted from the State police force, while the services of another 18,000 have been requisitioned from the neighbouring States like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. The deployment of the police forces is in addition to the 279 companies of the central forces sanctioned to the State by the Election Commission. Of the 279 companies, the deployment of over 40 companies has already been completed and they have been keeping a watch on different areas in the poll-bound State.

The enforcement officials have so far seized cash, liquor and other items worth ₹90.72 crore. Of these, cash amounted to ₹77.38 crore and liquor ₹7.55 crore, while other goods including gold and silver amounted to ₹5.79 crore. “With the electioneering is expected to pick up significantly after withdrawal of nominations, we are geared up for more such seizures,” Mr. Rajat Kumar said.

Asked about the complaints of poll code violations, he said notices have been served on Minister T. Harish Rao, Congress leader A. Revanth Reddy and others and they have also submitted their replies.

“We will be sending their replies and charges made against them along with the evidence to the Election Commission for further action,” he said.

To a query on Chief Minister’s camp office, Pragati Bhavan, being used for political meetings, he said a letter has been sent to the TRS secretary general in this regard. Once the reply was received, the election officials would finalise the report based on the available evidence before forwarding it to the EC. “There are 10 more complaints of serious nature which are being looked into,” he said.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 1:59:48 am |