District magistrates across Uttarakhand are flooded with requests from officials trying to dodge election duty with excuses ranging from weddings in the family to old age.
Officials say some of the applications received are hilarious – Champawat district magistrate Ahmed Iqbal received a request from an official who cited the reason for exemption as “wife’s wedding”.
“We are definitely not promoting such petty excuses. Only those that are genuine will go under scrutiny ,” Iqbal, told HT . The state goes to the polls on February 15.
Applications have also come up quoting family weddings as a reason for exemption. According to Hindu calendar, some auspicious wedding dates in February— 11, 12, 17— clash with trainings and travelling to faraway regions .
“Only those whose children are getting married would be provided relaxation. But, not all,” Harbans Singh Chugh, district magistrate of Haridwar, said.
He also exempted a 64-year-old employee of a university from poll duty, after he sought relaxation on grounds of old age and examinations on campus.
Applications quoting medical grounds haven’t been received as of now. However, past experiences says personnel tried to dodge poll duty by quoting some health problems such as toothache, stomach-related issues, bladder stone and even viral fever.
“We did received such excuses during 2014 Lok Sabha elections . But, they were rejected. This time too such applications would be rejected,” LM Upreti, chief medical officer Nainital, said.
Dehradun district magistrate Ravinath Raman has already cautioned personnel, saying serious action would be taken against those found submitting false applications. The election commission is in the final stages to assign election duties to nearly 66,000 employees.