To stop the usage of drugs and money to lure voters in the run-up to Punjab assembly elections on February 4, the district electoral office has identified 251 polling booths as ‘critical’ ones. These booths have been classified as critical on the basis of survey and intelligence inputs.
After conducting a “vulnerability mapping” in 756 booths and interviewing 12,550 people in four constituencies of the district, the district police have marked 251 booths from where violence could be reported or candidate could take help of liquor, drugs, money or other things to influence voters.
Kapurthala constituency has the most number of critical booths. Out of 182 surveyed booths, 92 (50%) are critical ones. Bholath has 73 out of 174 booths, Phagwara-46 out of 212 booths; Sultanpur Lodhi-40 out of 188 booths.
The station house officers, while conducting the survey, asked people to name any person or group due to whom any polling station needed to be declared “vulnerable”. In their one-page questionnaire, containing 23 questions, they also asked potential voters to inform if there are anti-social elements who can pose a threat to any person or group, during the elections.
“On the directions of the Election Commission, we have conducted the survey and according to feedback and intelligence inputs we have identified the vulnerable booths,” said, Gurloveleen Singh, district election officer (DEO).
He said additional security forces and observers will be deployed for these booths to ensure fair and free elections.
STRAP: Polling officials have shown concern that candidates can influence voters of these booths