In view of the Dakha By-election scheduled on October 21, the district administration has completed all arrangements. District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana Mr Pradeep Kumar Agrawal stated that the district administration is committed for holding the by-election with full transparency, fairness and without any bias. He said that no person would be allowed to violate the guidelines of Model Code of Conduct being issued by the Election Commission of India and the voters should exercise their right to vote without any fear.
He informed that there are 220 polling stations in Dakha assembly constituency-68, and there are 1,84,306 general voters along with 780 service voters. He stated that all the voters have been provided with identity cards and voter slips, besides poll parties for all polling stations have been dispatched.
He said that a total of 12 candidates (including NOTA) would be in fray for the Dakha By-election. He said that to ensure that the elections are conducted in a fair and peaceful manner, 1295 officials of civil administration have been deputed along with adequate number of security personnel from Punjab Police as well as Central Para-Military forces.
He further informed that to ensure that the election is held in a peaceful manner, security personnel of five commando battalions along with CRPF would be deputed in areas under Dakha Vidhan Sabha constituency. He informed that micro observers would be deputed in all polling stations, besides inside as well as outside videography would be carried out at 140 polling stations, and inside videography would be carried out in all 220 polling stations. He also appealed to the candidates/representatives to send lists of their polling stations immediately.
Mr Pradeep Kumar Agrawal appealed to the candidates, their representatives and political parties that if any voter exercise their right to vote under the influence of money or if any candidate/party offers money in lieu of vote, then a criminal case under section 178 B would be registered against them. If any person threatens any voters to cast his/her vote in favour of a particular candidate, then action would be taken under section 171 C and if any person violates the guidelines under model code of conduct, then action would be taken under section 127 A of Representation of Peoples’ Act 1951.
Mr Pradeep Kumar Agrawal has informed that the Excise & Taxation Commissioner Punjab has declared Dry Day in all the constituencies going for polls on October 21, 2019. The dry day has been declared in Dakha constituency of district Ludhiana from 6 pm on October 19 till 6 pm on October 21, 2019 and for complete day on October 24, 2019.
Mr Agrawal informed that this dry day would remain enforced in areas falling in radius of 3 km from Dakha Vidhan Sabha constituency as well. As per the orders, dry day would be observed in all hotels, liquor vends, taverns, beer/hard bars, dhabas, restaurants, clubs, marriage palaces, shops, public/private places. He said that no person can store liquor on these days and strict action would be taken against any person violating these orders.
Voters would be able to cast their vote with 11 alternative identity proofs during the upcoming Vidhan Sabha By-Elections. District Election Officer Mr Pradeep Kumar Agrawal stated that those not having the elector’s photo identity card (EPIC, also called voter ID card) can exercise their franchise using alternative documents including Aadhaar card, passport, driving licence, service ID cards (with photograph) issued by central or state governments or public sector undertakings, bank or post office passbooks with photographs, PAN card, MGNREGA job card, smart cards issued under scheme of Labour department, health insurance smart card, pension documents and identity proof issued to MP/MLA total 11 documents to be used as identity proof. The elections for Dakha By-election is scheduled for October 21, 2019.
He further stated that the Election Commission has banned exit polls from October 19, 2019 to October 21, 2019. The by-election for Dakha Vidhan Sabha constituency is scheduled on October 21, 2019.
Disclosing this here today District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Mr Pradeep Kumar Agrawal said that under provisions of section 126 A of the Representations of the Peoples Act, 1951 "Exit polls cannot be conducted and publicised by means of print and electronic media or dissemination in any other manner from 6.30 PM on October 19, 2019 till 6:30 PM on October 21, 2019.”
Clarifying further, he said that display of any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey in any electronic media is prohibited during the period 48 hours.