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Election office appoints poll officials blindly

Suraj Prakash Siloki, teacher with a government school, has been posted on election duty for the upcoming Assembly elections, reports Neelam Pandey.

delhi Updated: Nov 25, 2008 00:02 IST
Neelam Pandey

Suraj Prakash Siloki, teacher with a government school, has been posted on election duty for the upcoming Assembly elections. Nothing unusual, right? After all, thousands of teachers are put on election duty during poll time. But Prakash is visually impaired.

“I was issued a letter appointing me as the polling officer, although I am exempted from election duty. I had to go all the way to Dwarka from Connaught Place to attend the training. When they saw me, they asked me to file an application to seek exemption,” said Siloki, who works with Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Sarvodaya Vidyalaya.

Siloki was not alone in his plight. “One of my (visually impaired) friends, who teaches in Kamla Nagar, was also assigned poll duty,” he added.

Chief electoral officer of Delhi, Satbir S. Bedi, however, claimed that they had selected the candidates from the list sent by the Delhi government schools. “Visually impaired people are exempted from carrying out election duty but how can we tell by looking at the list if someone can’t see?” said Bedi.