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LS Polls-2024: ECI announces 26 special polling stations for Kashmir migrants

12:41 AM Mar 24, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
ls polls 2024  eci announces 26 special polling stations for kashmir migrants
Future Gaming and Hotel Services purchased Rs 1,368 cr worth electoral bonds, most among firms --- Representational Photo
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Jammu, Mar 23: The Election Commission of India (ECI) Saturday announced 26 special polling stations for Kashmiri migrants.

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An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that continuing the past practice of facilitating the Kashmiri migrants to vote through postal ballots and special polling stations set at Jammu, Udhampur, and New Delhi, the ECI announced a comprehensive scheme for the Kashmiri Migrants.

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The scheme is meant for all those electors of 1-Baramulla, 2-Srinagar, and 3-Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency in Kashmir valley of J&K who had migrated due to compelling circumstances and have been temporarily residing in various places outside their place of ordinary residence.

The ECI has issued two notifications categorising the Kashmiri migrants as the ‘specified’ and ‘notified’ electors.

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The first notification has been issued under the powers vested in the Commission under Article 324 of the Constitution read along with Section 25 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which specifies the migrant electors of Kashmir who are enrolled in any of the parliamentary constituencies of 1-Baramulla, 2-Srinagar and 3-Anantnag-Rajouri, but residing outside their place of ordinary residence, (other than those who opt for a postal ballot under clause (c) of Section 60 the Representation of the People Act, 1951) as the class of persons for whom special polling stations shall be provided outside the territorial limits of the parliamentary constituencies mentioned above during the parliamentary election for J&K, to be held in 2024.

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The other notification has been issued under Section 60(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, notifying the aforesaid migrant electors of Kashmir valley enrolled in any of the Parliamentary constituencies of 1-Baramulla, 2-Srinagar, and 3-Anantnag-Rajouri, who are residing outside their place of ordinary residence, (other than those who opt to vote in person at special polling stations), as the class of persons to give their votes by postal ballots.

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Additionally, the commission has also notified four Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) to assist the Returning Officers of these three parliamentary constituencies in the work concerning the ‘specified’ and ‘notified’ class of electors.

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These four AROs are Assistant Commissioner, Relief (Migrant), Jammu, Assistant Commissioner, Panchayat, Udhampur, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, Delhi, and Deputy Secretary, in the office of Resident Commissioner, New Delhi.

Functionally, the Assistant Commissioner, Relief (Migrant), Jammu in the Office of Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, Jammu is made responsible for the receipt of applications from the electors who wish to vote at the special polling stations at Jammu.

He would also be the ARO responsible for the issuance of a Postal Ballot to all those who opt for the same.

Likewise, the Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, Delhi and Deputy Secretary, office of Resident Commissioner, New Delhi, are appointed as the ARO for the receipt of applications, and conduct of poll at the special polling stations to be provided in Delhi.

Collector, Northern Railways, Udhampur is appointed as ARO in respect of the special polling station(s) at Udhampur.

For the Lok Sabha-2024, the ECI has advised the migrant voters to send their forms, Form M for voting in person at any of the ‘Special Polling Stations’ or Form 12 C for using the postal ballot to the concerned Assistant Returning Officers to reach them on or 10 days before the date of poll separately for each phase of the polling.

Kashmiri migrant voters, who are residing at various relief camps in Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur and who opt to cast their votes in person through Electronic Voting Machines in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections can do so at polling stations at Women's College, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu; Indian Institute of Management, Canal Road, Jammu; Directorate School Education, Muthi, Jammu; Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Janipur, Jammu; Migrant School, Purkhoo, Jammu; Agriculture Complex, Talab Tillo, Jammu; Government Mixed Higher Secondary School, Muthi; Migrant School, Nagrota, Jammu;

Government Higher Secondary School, (Migrants), Jagti-A, Jammu; Government Higher Secondary School, (Migrants) Jagti-B, Jammu; Anuradha Higher Secondary School, Barnai, Jammu; Agriculture University Complex, Udhaiywala, Jammu; J&K Board of School Education, Rehari, Jammu-A; Government Middle School, (Migrants), Jagti; Community Hall Jagti; Government Girls Middle School Chak Changerwan Chinore Chowk, Jammu; Government Girls Primary School Gangyal, Jammu; Govt. Boys Higher Secondary School Poni Chak; J&K Board of School Education, Rehari, Jammu-B; Government High School Sagoon, Miran Sahib; Government Higher Secondary School Channi; Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Udhampur; J&K House, 5, Prithviraj Road, New Delhi; O/o The Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi; Government t. Girls Higher Secondary School, Paprawat, New Delhi; and Arwachin International School, F-Block, Dilshad Garden, Delhi.

Applications in Form M and Form 12C for all phases can be submitted immediately after the notification of this scheme.

Those who wish to exercise their franchise in person at Special Polling Stations should intimate details of the electors in their families to the Assistant Returning Officers including Assistant Commissioner, Relief (Migrant), Jammu; Assistant Commissioner, Panchayat, Udhampur; Deputy Director, Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, Delhi and Deputy Secretary, office of Resident Commissioner, New Delhi in prescribed Form 'M', which is available free of cost at the office of these Assistant Returning Officers, as well as can be downloaded from commission’s website www.eci.gov.in or Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir’s website www.ceojk.nic.in.

These forms should reach the Assistant Returning Officers at least 10 days before the date of poll in the respective constituency.

The option once given would be final.

Any migrant elector, other than those who opted to vote in person can avail the option to vote through postal ballot papers.

For this, an application in Form 12C has to be made and copies of these forms are also available in the offices of the Assistant Returning Officers mentioned above as well as can be downloaded from the commission’s website www.eci.gov.in or Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir’s website www.ceojk.nic.in.

All the application forms (Form 12 C) duly filled in, requesting for the postal ballot must reach the Assistant Returning Officer at Jammu to reach him 10 days before the date of poll for each phase. To facilitate the attestation of forms, a sufficient number of gazetted officers would be available at these centres and will attest the same.

They can also drop their application forms, and later on, their marked postal ballot papers in the special letter-boxes, which would also be available at the offices of all the Assistant Returning Officers.

The commission has also extended an online facility for the migrant electors residing at various places other than Jammu, Udhampur, and Delhi to download Form 'M' and Form '12C' from the ECI website or Voter Services Portal.

After filling out such forms the migrant electors have been asked to approach the office of the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of the constituency in which they are residing at present, anywhere in the country.

The Electoral Registration Officers can have access to the details of migrant electors enrolled in different Parliamentary Constituencies (assembly segment-wise) in Kashmir through ERO-Net.

The ERO concerned, after verifying details in the Form 'M' will scan and upload the same to electronically transmit to the AROs Migrants at Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur for further necessary action. Hard copies so uploaded shall also be sent to AROs Migrant Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur as the case may be.

Similarly, the ERO concerned would verify the details in Form 12-C, sign the certificate in Part- II of the Form and scan and upload it to electronically transmit the same to the ARO Migrant at Jammu who will take further necessary action to send a Postal Ballot to the elector concerned. Hard copies so uploaded are to be sent to ARO Migrant at Jammu.

The postal ballot would be sent through Speed Post to the elector concerned by the ARO Migrant, Jammu. The elector can send a polled Postal Ballot through Speed Post (free of cost) to the Returning Officer concerned of the parliamentary constituency to which he or she belongs so that this can reach the RO concerned in time.

The cost of Speed Post would be paid by the RO concerned.

In case of any grievances, the Kashmiri migrants have been asked to approach the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir at ceo-jk@nic.in or the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, J&K at relief-ceomm@jk.gov.in, 0191-2586218 and 9622189330 or use the toll-free facility of the commission (1950).

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