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Telangana anticipates security personnel shortage for Lok Sabha polls

Telangana anticipates security personnel shortage for Lok Sabha polls

Telangana anticipates a shortage of police personnel for the Lok Sabha polls as it is difficult to get additional forces from other states due to simultaneous elections all over the country, a top election official said. “We are taking all efforts to make proper arrangements but I anticipate there will be a slight shortage of uniformed personnel,” Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said.

During the assembly polls last year, about 19,000 additional security personnel from other states were deployed. “Last time (assembly polls) we deployed about 95,000 police personnel for the elections, of which 19,000 were from other states. This time it may not be possible because Lok Sabha polls are being held all over the country and every state has its own elections,” Kumar said. He said they had asked for additional security forces from other states and added that about 2.5 lakh personnel, including poll officials, would be used for election duty.

The Lok Sabha elections would be held in single phase in Telangana on April 11. The notification will be issued on March 18 and the last
date for filing nominations would be March 25.

Kumar said initially there were concerns on availability of Electronic Voting Machines as 34 Election Petitions have been separately filed in the Telangana High Court on various grounds. Twenty of these petitions were filed against the ‘efficacy, veracity and functioning’, among others, of the EVMs, sources said.

Read Also| Lok Sabha elections 2019: Ensuring nobody is left out, polling staff to walk a day for lone voter

This prompted the officials to keep about 9,000 EVMs in a ‘lock-in’ state, he said. As per rules, EVMs of those constituencies whose verdict is challenged in courts should be kept intact and not be used until the court clears the petition.

“We have asked the Election Commission of India to allocate the machines which are locked for in EPs. They have made the allocation and we have received sufficient number of machines,” the CEO said. Kumar said Telangana plans to set up 35,000 polling stations across the state

As per the standard formula, states should have 1.6 times ballot units in proportion to the number of polling stations, 1.3 times Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and 1.2 times control units, he said. He said the total number of voters for the Lok Sabha polls in Telangana was expected to be nearly three crore.

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Source: Financial Express