The election commission has instructed all district electoral officers to take care while allotting duty to female staff for poll duty. This time, 500 pink booths will be set up across the state. Pink Booths will have all women staff, meant to encourage women voters to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise. Election commission wants to increase the participation of women voters across the state that is lower in comparison to men.
But on the other hand, instructions of election commission to deploy women staff at polling station with care has been termed as government’s acceptance of deteriorating law and order situation besides lack of basic infrastructure in far flung remote areas.
The instructions issued on Thursday, says a team should comprise of at least two women staff members, neither more nor less. The letter also clearly states that women should only be deployed on poll duty only if it’s essential. The letter states that duty of female staff should be restricted to urban areas and cities only.
The letter issued by additional electoral officer, Sandeep Yadav, instructs all district electoral officers to ensure that one women staff on poll duty should be deployed at P2 level. The second female could be deployed at P1 or P3 level. Duty of women staff should be finalized much before second round of randomization by the district electoral officer. Another condition that has been made clear for the female staff says that, all women should be deployed at polling stations either near their homes or offices.
The software being used by the poll panel to finalise the duties for the polling staff too has a programme to count and allot duty for female staff, said Sandeep Yadav, additional CEO. The EC, this year, has decided to set up 500 pink booths across the state.
CEO VL Kantha Rao had said earlier that pink booths would be installed at every constituency across the state. The pink booths will be manned by an all-women staff. One polling booth has a staff of five members — in pink booths — all the five members would be women. There are 65,341 polling booths across the state this assembly elections where voting will take place on November 28.
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