EC sets voting based parameters to identify critical polling stations
The Election Commission has set voting based parameters to identify critical polling stations across India in a bid to check use of black money and rigging of polls.india Updated: Mar 15, 2014 00:00 IST
The Election Commission has set voting based parameters to identify critical polling stations across India in a bid to check use of black money and rigging of polls.
In a new direction issued on Friday, the commission said polling stations which saw over 90% turnout and where a particular candidate got more than 75% of the votes should be identified as "critical" for the expenditure point of view.
The commission for the first time has mapped expenditure vulnerable constituencies across India which includes segments in southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Identifying critical polling stations would help the commission to map vulnerability at the polling station level.
A commission official said the expenditure element has been added to identification of critical polling station, which was being done on basis of security related issues.
On basis of the identification, the commission can deploy additional security forces and expenditure observers for such polling booths. This, the commission, believes will help in ensuring fair and free elections.
The commission has also decided to extend the timing of polling to 11 hours. In poll timing would be 7am to 6pm except in Maoist affected areas, where it would be 7am to 4pm. Polling was earlier held between 8am to 5pm while in north-east it started at 7am.
This has been done to ensure higher voter participation and to avoid long queues at the polling stations at the fag end of the polling. The commission is looking at around 70% polling in this summer's polls.
In another directive, the EC has asked for randomisation of the personnel to be deployed for elections to ensure their neutrality. It said "sufficient care" should be taken while drafting and deploying personnel so that "unbiased" polling parties are set up "in the interest of free and fair elections.