All arrangements for the smooth conduct of polling in Jammu parliamentary constituency where elections are being held on Thursday (April 16, 2009) have been made. This was disclosed by the chief electoral officer, B.L Sharma at a press conference
GIVING DETAILS, Sharma said that campaigning for the first phase ended at 5 p.m on Tuesday and over 17,00,000 voters would decide the fate of 21 contestants spread over 20 assembly segments of the constituency in the inaugural phase, on April 16. The Chief Electoral Officer said the Election Commissioner of India, Navin B. Chawla, had expressed satisfaction with the arrangements made for a free, fair and transparent election in the State when he visited Jammu on April 10.
Sharma said that out of the 65,00,000 electorates in the State, around 45,00,000 have EPICs or identity cards, which the voters will have to produce before voting. “The remaining voters can use any of the alternative documents permitted by the Election Commission to cast their vote”, he explained.
Replying to a question, the Chief Electoral Officer said that nobody would be allowed to intimidate the voters. “Voting is the discretion of the elector and no one can coerce the voter not to vote”, the CEO said. He said the Election Commission, for the first time, had started vulnerability mapping of all the constituencies to identify communities which had not voted for a long time and probe the reasons for the same.
The chief electoral officer was addressing a crowded press conference. The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, IG, Jammu Zone, K. Rajendra and Director, Information, Khalid Bashir Ahmad, were also present on the occasion.