Rajinder Nagar polls: Covid patients allowed to vote in last one hour in full PPE kits 

Published: 23rd June 2022 03:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2022 03:45 PM   |  A+A-

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Image used for representational purposes only ( File Photo )


NEW DELHI: Voters in Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency who are suffering from COVID-19 have been identified and they will be allowed to vote in the ongoing bypoll during the last one hour of the scheduled polling time, albeit after wearing full PPE kits, a senior official said on Thursday.

Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said ambulances have been arranged for ferrying them to polling booths and medical facilities would also be kept on standby in case any such voter needs help.

"This is the first election in Delhi after the outbreak of the pandemic. The district administration has identified voters who are suffering from COVID-19, and they shall be brought to the booths and they can vote after wearing full PPE kits. All our staff are also trained and sensitised and they would also be in PPE kits once the Covid patients start coming to booths," he told reporters in response to a question.

However, all regular voters would be first asked to vacate the polling booths at the end of their designated time, and then voters who are suffering from COVID-19 infection can vote, he said.

On violations of the model code of conduct, he said 24 FIRs have been filed so far, 13 against the AAP, nine against the BJP, one against the Congress, and one against another entity.

Also, 188 challans have been issued by traffic police authorities for misuse of vehicles like bearing unauthorised posters, banners, and displaying other poll material, Singh said.

Out of these, 123 are against the AAP, 49 against the BJP, and 16 against others, the CEO told reporters.

"The voting percentage till 11 am (14.85 per cent) was relatively low. But, we are hoping it will increase as the day progresses. We have done our best to encourage voters by setting up an all-women polling station, a model polling station, and a polling station manned by all staff who are persons with disability," he said.

Over 26 per cent polling was recorded in the first six hours (till 1 pm) since voting began for the bypoll to the Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency on Thursday, officials said.

A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election, in which 14 candidates are in the fray, with water shortage and the city government's liquor policy among the key election issues.

On seizures, Singh said, 280 licence arms have been seized, while under the Arms Act, five FIRs have been lodged, five illegal arms seized and five people arrested.

Under the Excise Act, nearly 1,850 litres of illegally possessed liquor have been seized, worth Rs 5.65 lakh, and 36 FIRs lodged and 36 arrests made, the CEO said.

Under the narcotics department, drugs worth over Rs 10 crore has been seized by authorities, he said, adding that Income Tax department has seized cash worth Rs 1 crore in Delhi, but outside the Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency.

Under the GST department, various items worth Rs 43 lakh have been seized, and 40 non-bailable warrants were received, all 40 have been executed, he added.

In addition to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress candidates, there are three others from unrecognised parties and eight Independent nominees.

A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election, in which 14 candidates are in the fray, with water shortage and the city government's liquor policy among the key election issues.

The two major contenders -- the AAP and the BJP -- have exuded confidence that their candidates will emerge victorious in the bypoll with a huge margin.

Polling began at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and is scheduled to be held till 6 pm.

The voting percentage till 1 pm stood at 26.24 per cent, a senior official said.

In the 2020 polls, the voter turnout in Rajinder Nagar was 58.27 per cent -- 58.09 per cent male voters and 58.5 per cent female voters.

A total of 190 polling stations, including 13 auxiliary ones, have been set up at 21 locations, equipped with all necessary facilities and amenities for differently-abled people too such as ramps and drinking water, besides creches for mothers if they come to vote with their children.

Of the total number of eligible voters for the bypoll, 92,221 are male, 72,473 female and four belong to the third gender.

There are 591 electors, who are persons with disability, 39 voters are visually impaired, 64 are service voters, and 2,486 voters who are in the age group of 80 and above.


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