‘Separate COVID plan put in place for elections, voters to be screened before casting ballots’
Srinagar, Nov 05 : A day after the State Election Commissioner (SEC) announced first-ever District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities here have started preparations to make special arrangements for the COVID-19 patients as well as for the employees who are currently posted at different quarantine centres across the Union Territory.
The SEC in a media address yesterday had informed that postal ballots will be made available for COVID-19 patients in isolation, senior citizens and physically unwell patients.
A top official from the CEO’s office said that special arrangements will be made available for the COVID-19 patients in isolation while it has also been decided to make the postal ballots available for the people above 80 years of age.
He said that the postal ballots will also be made available for the government employees, who are currently posted at quarantine centres across the Union Territory.
The official said special teams of polling staff will be constituted in this regard, who will start paper and other related works to facilitate the voters at their respective places.
He added that the voters will be screened before casting the ballots and if any voter is found suspected for COVID-19, he/she would be accommodated in the last for the polling process.
The official, wishing anonymity said that it was directed to ensure all the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) are followed in letter and spirit during the voting and a separate COVID plan has been put in place for the elections to prevent the virus from spreading.
Pertinently, State Election Commissioner K.K Sharma announced the maiden elections to elect DDC in 20 districts of the J&K, stating that polls will be held in eight phases from November 28. He had said that Panchayat by elections for the vacant seats of Sarpanchs and Panchs will also be held simultaneously with the DDC Polls.
Addressing a news conference yesterday in Jammu, SEC Sharma said that first ever elections for the DDCs will be held from November 28, 2020 in 8 phases which will conclude on December 19 and the counting of votes will held on December 22. He also informed that the results of Panchayat by elections will be declared on the polling day. The polling hours will be from 7 am to 2 pm—
( with inputs from KNO)