Poll staff complains of bounced cheques

Moazum Mohammad

Srinagar: Cheques paid to scores of government employees deputed for election duties in the fourth phase of Assembly polls have bounced, several election presiding officers told Kashmir Reader.
The cheques had been issued to them from the district election office.
“Every time I deposited the cheque in my account I was told that it has bounced because the account number (on the cheque) doesn’t exist and the signature doesn’t match,” said an officer who requested anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Sixteen seats including eight in Srinagar went to polls in the fourth phase of the elections. Each booth headed by a presiding officer had four staff members.
The officer said they were paid Rs 5,600 by Returning Officers concerned on the election day. But since their counterparts elsewhere had been paid Rs 8000 to Rs 9000, they had protested against the alleged disparity and threatened to boycott duties.
“To assuage our anger we were given cheques for the rest of the amount. The cheques had no date. I believe the cheques are bogus and we have been cheated,” said another presiding officer.
Chief election officer Umang Narula said the issue has been resolved and the cheques have been replaced.
But the employees deny they have received new cheques.
District commissioner Farooq Shah said the cheques issued “by mistake” are being replaced.
“If anyone hasn’t received a new cheque he should contact the RO who is also joint director handicrafts,” Shah said.

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