Ujjain: If Assembly Elections- 2013 were accomplished peacefully and successfully, the credit should be given to the Election Commission of India ( ECI) as well as the electorate. At hundreds of polling booths, police personnel were seen sitting relaxed owing to smooth proceedings across the district on Monday. Even the rural and illiterate electorate seemed thronging polling booths to exercise their franchise as if they have been invited to a marriage function.
According to preliminary reports, more than 65 percent polling was recorded in the district, which comprises seven Assembly constituencies.Highest 74 percent polling was recorded in Ghattia ( SC) reserve constituency while lowest 60 percent voting was recorded at Mahidpur, Ujjain North and Ujjain South constituencies.
In Tarana ( SC reserve) constituency, 73 percent electorate exercised their franchise while in Nagda- Khachrod and Barnagar constituencies, 66 and 62 percent polling respectively.It was for the first time, though the ECI, Delhi and State’s Chief Electoral Office, Bhopal appeared smart in conducting the election process, district authorities here failed to apprise the poll percentage.
Till 7 pm, none of the election authorities here were in a position to provide the round- wise and constituency- wise polling percentage.Apathy of the concerned officials could be understood by a fact that the control room which was set- up to pass poll related information became dysfunctional by afternoon.
Nevertheless, the polling was held peacefully across the district. Barring stray incidents of clashes and lodging complaints against each other by the candidates and their supporters, the polling was by and large peaceful.On visiting several polling stations of Ujjain South, Ujjain North and Ghattia constituencies, the Free Press team saw mixed situation.
At some polling stations, there were no long queues of electorate whereas there were many polling stations where electorate were seen waiting for their turn. At Government Dussehra Maidan Girls Higher Secondary School located polling stations, electorate of posh residential areas looked happy on the smooth arrangements. Here the police on duty were also seemed relaxed. Long queues of voters were seen at the polling stations formed at the Model School, Neelganga, Government Madhav College, Lohe Ka Pull, Paandariba, Singpuri, Joona Somwaria, Nayapura, Bhairavgarh, Gayatri Nagar, Dhancha Bhavan, Arvind Nagar etc. But, an average electorate could have to invest 30 minutes to cast his or her vote.
For smooth and hurdlefree voting, total 1585 polling stations were formed this time, which were 204 more as compared to the Lok Sabha Elections- 2009. Out of these polling stations, 284 were identified as critical stations which included 43 in Nagda- Khachrod, 42 in Mahidpur, 38 in Tarana, 43 in Ghattia, 38 in Ujjain North, 43 in Ujjain South and 37 in Barnagar.
In all 8114 polling personnel and 3560 police personnel, including Central Para- military Forces, were deputed for conducting the polls.One more thing came to notice was that only few electorate approached the booth- wise tables of the candidates, which were allowed behind 200 meter from the polling stations.
The voter slips, having photo of an individual electorate, were distributed some seven days ahead of the polling day and it helped a lot to the electorate to reach their polling stations.Not only the educated electorate, but those belong to illiterate and poor families, also felt comfort with these arrangements.
The candidates and their supporters were seen expressing surprise on the activism of the electorate saying that the electorate reached at the polling stations as if they are being invited for a marriage function.SPECIAL REPORT ON D- DA An elderly couple arriving at a polling station to cast their votes in Ujjain on Monday.Rural women voters showing their voter slips.