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‘Where’s my booth?’ voters ask

punjab Updated: Apr 09, 2014 16:13 IST
Snehil Sinha

The delimitation process to divide the geographical area of Gurgaon into different constituencies for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections has left residents confused regarding polling procedures, candidates and voting booths.

The difference in electoral and district boundaries has also affected administrative functions such as deployment of staff and police force.

The Gurgaon parliamentary constituency comprises nine assembly seats from three districts of Gurgaon, Mewat and Rewari. While each parliamentary constituency may consist of whole or parts of several districts, the security force and staff are deployed at the district level.

“Security along the borders has been increased. After several rounds of interstate and inter-district meetings, we have coordinated our teams for this. The SPs of Rewari and Mewat will be in-charge of security measures in their respective areas,” said Rajesh Kumar, assistant commissioner of police (election cell), Gurgaon.

The confusion at the assembly level is worse. Gurgaon city itself is divided into Gurgaon, Badshahpur and Sohna constituencies. Parts of Sushant Lok phases-1 and 2 or DLF City phases 1-5 fall under different constituencies and are represented by three separate members of legislative assemblies (MLAs).

“The election commission has not used its resources well to generate awareness among people regarding their electoral identity - which assembly constituency they belong, which booth do they vote at, etc. Higher voter turnout can be expected only if there are more extensive awareness drives for all election-related details, which is a confusing procedure that involves registering of voters to casting of votes,” said RS Rathee, president, Gurgaon Citizens’ Council (GCC).

Gurgaon district has seen much disturbance over the years since Independence, being merged or shifted from one constituency to another. This has led to the confusion brewing among electors.

After Independence, the princely state of Pataudi was merged with Gurgaon, which is now one of the two reserved Vidhan Sabha constituencies of Haryana.

Gurgaon continued to be a part of Punjab until 1966, after which the state of Haryana was carved out. Following this, residents voted for the separate Gurgaon constituency of Haryana for the next two general elections.

Due to delimitation of Lok Sabha and Vidban Sabha constituencies in 1974, a single-member constituency of Mahendragarh was formed and Gurgaon was merged with it.