Punjab Elections 2017: Re-Poll has been ordered in Amritsar, Moga, Sangrur, Muktsar and Mansa
Punjab Elections 2017:Chandigarh, February 8
The Punjab government ordered Re-Poll in Amritsar, Moga, Sangrur, Muktsar and Mansa and declared holiday in these districts, where polls will be held again in 48 polling stations today.
“In the wake of the re-poll in some booths of five districts in the state tomorrow, the Punjab government has declared a holiday in Amritsar, Moga, Muktsar, Mansa and Sangrur districts on February 9,” the state government said in a release on Wednesday.
All offices, boards, corporations, educational institutes and public undertakings of the state government in these five districts will remain closed today. This holiday has been declared under section 25 of Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881, a spokesperson said.
Re-polling at the 48 polling stations under Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency and five Assembly segments was ordered by the Election Commission following malfunctioning of Voter-Verified Audit Paper Trail and Electronic Voting Machines in these stations during polling on February 4.
In order to enable people working in factories, shops and commercial establishments in the five districts to exercise their franchise the government has declared a paid holiday today in all these establishments, where Thursday is not observed as a weekly off day, in lieu of their normal weekly holiday, an official spokesperson said.
The Assembly election in Punjab was held on February 4. Results will be declared on March 11. The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance seeks to retain power in the state for a third consecutive term but it faces tough competition from the Congress and the debutante Aam Aadmi Party.
The Election Commission will maintain a close watch through webcasting on all 48 polling stations in Punjab that will witness repolling tomorrow. Central Armed Paramilitary Forces personnel have also been deputed at all these polling stations.
The EC has directed the state authorities to station at least three GPS and video camera-fitted vehicles outside every village where these polling stations are located. Webcasting through CCTV cameras and handheld devices and camera-fitted vehicles will provide live footage of the polling stations and surrounding areas while the repolling is underway.
To prevent interruption in polling due to failure of VVPAT machines, as was the case on February 4, the commission has made available four surplus machines at every polling station.
“Three GPS and camera-fitted vehicles, with EC’s team on board, have already been stationed outside every such village. This will also help in preventing the flow of liquor and cash in such villages,” a senior election official said. “Around 50,000 persons will cast their votes,” he added.
The EC has also summoned a team of engineers of a Bengaluru-based private firm that manufactures EVMs and VVPAT machines. “Two engineers will remain stationed at Majitha, one each in Muktsar, Moga, Mansa and Sangrur Assembly segments. Two engineers will be deputed at polling booths in the Amritsar (North) constituency, where repolling will be held for the Lok Sabha seat bypoll,” the officer said.
The EC has also decided to depute one micro-observer (a Central Government employee) at every polling station.