3,500 Kerala cops on poll duty in other states to miss voting

The cops on election duty within the state were allowed to cast their votes in facilitation centres that were set up from April 21- 23.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only. File photo| ENS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 3,500 cops, deployed in other states to ensure smooth conduct of Lok Sabha polls there, are all likely to be deprived of the right to exercise their franchise. The predicament arose as the senior state police officers nor the officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) did not factor in the Kerala poll date while preparing the election duty roster of the cops. The cops are now deployed in Karnataka and Maharashtra, where the polls will be held in various phases and end by May 7 and May 20, respectively.

Office-bearers of the Kerala Police Association, which delayed in taking up the matter, met the Election Commission officials and requested them to allow the cops on outstation duty to do postal voting upon their return. A police source said the office-bearers moved their request on Tuesday seeking orders from the commission for the same. “However, there are slim chances for the request to be accepted,” the source added.

The cops on election duty within the state were allowed to cast their votes in facilitation centres that were set up from April 21- 23. However, shockingly no provision was made for those working in other states.

“Earlier, the cops on election duty in other states were sent back just in time to cast their votes. But this time, no such arrangements were made,” said an association office-bearer.

The police department also did not ask for postal voting for the cops, who were to go to other states. Earlier, postal voting provisions were there for cops, but they were later withdrawn due to complaints of misuse.

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