For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

Mizoram MP urges ECI to let 1,047 policemen away on poll duty to vote

02:49 PM May 29, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 02:49 PM May 29, 2024 IST
mizoram mp urges eci to let 1 047 policemen away on poll duty to vote
Mizoram MP K. Vanlalvena

Aizawl: Mizoram’s lone Rajya Sabha member K. Vanlalvena on Tuesday wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI) urging the poll panel to allow 1,047 police personnel to cast their votes as they were away on poll-related duties in other states.

The police personnel failed to cast their votes at the time of elections to the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state held on April 19 as they had gone to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on poll duty.

Advertisement Advertisement

In a letter written to Chief Election Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, Vanlalvena said that currently 15 companies of Mizoram Armed Police comprising 1,047 personnel are on election duty in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

He alleged that the police personnel were denied their legitimate right to exercise their franchise.

The Mizoram MP said that the Mizoram police nodal officer had requested the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to make the necessary arrangements earlier, which was duly conveyed to the Election Commission.

However, the poll panel conveyed its regret to the state CEO that the police personnel could not be allowed to cast their votes citing ‘technical reasons,’ he said.

“Whatever the technical reasons may be, the fact of the matter is that 1,047 citizens of India have been denied their legitimate right to exercise their franchise. Such disenfranchisement of legitimate voters is totally unconstitutional. It is indeed unfortunate and ironic that this injustice has been served upon these Mizoram police personnel due to their deployment on election duty,” Vanlalvena said.

“It is the bounden duty of the Election Commission to ensure that every voter of the country is allowed to exercise his or her franchise, whether it be a civilian or a person on election duty and therefore any kind of arrangement made, whether it is for physically casting vote or by electronic means should be of such manner that is implementable not just on paper but in reality. Denial of voting opportunity to a voter simply on technical grounds is totally unacceptable,” he added.

He urged the Election Commission to reconsider the issue and take steps to ensure that the police personnel exercised their franchise before the completion of the poll process.

Meanwhile, the state election department said that the CEO's office on March 28 had written to the EC asking about the possibility of sending postal ballots to 12 companies of the State Armed Police Force (SAPF) at their duty places in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The CEO's office also sought permission for the opening of a felicitation centre for another 3 companies of SAPF, who are bound to leave for Madhya Pradesh on April 4, it said.

The Election Commission sent its reply on April 6 and said that postal ballots were not allowed to be sent to the police personnel at their duty places outside the state as they were required to exercise their franchise in a facilitation centre in their native state, it said.

Although the EC told the state election department to arrange facilitation centres for the personnel, no such arrangement could be made for 12 companies of SAPF due to the date of induction fixed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 1.

As the date of induction was fixed on April 1, the 12 companies have to leave for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on March 28 and March 29, it said.

The department said that no postal ballot could be printed for the police personnel at that time because the candidate list could not be finalised as the last date for withdrawal was March 30 and the police personnel had left for their destination on March 28 and March 29.

It said that no facilitation centre could be arranged for another 3 companies because the Election Commission sent its reply on April 6 three days after the police personnel left for Madhya Pradesh.

Subsequently, the state election department wrote to the Election Commission on April 23 requesting it to arrange voting facilities for 1,047 police personnel before voting on June 4.

However, the poll panel rejected the request and informed the CEO's office that the police personnel would not be able to exercise their voting rights as polling for the Mizoram Lok Sabha seat was already held on April 19, the election department said.