JAMMU: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shailendra Kumar on Tuesday interacted with the District Election Officers (Deputy Commissioners) through video conferencing and reviewed the progress of preparations for the ensuing general and assembly elections in the State.
The CEO had detailed briefing from every Deputy Commissioner about the steps initiated for the smooth elections and implementation of various instructions and advisories conveyed to them by the CEO office in previous meetings. He called for putting in place all election related arrangements well in advance and monitoring the activities in their respective districts, plugging the gaps, if any in time so that things move according to the plan.
Stressing upon the need for stepping up of awareness campaign to educate the people about the importance of their votes, the CEO said that awareness is an important measure and it must reach out to every nook and corner of the State. He asked for initiating training programme for all stakeholders about the operation of EVMs and VVPATs and educating the masses about the important reformative measures taken by the Election Commission of India to ensure fair, free and transparent elections. He stressed for optimal use of the mediums of cable operators/cinema halls, social media in the awareness campaign.
He asked the Deputy Commissioners to hold regular interactions with the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) to have ground level feedback about the election activities and addressing the problems, if any highlighted by them on priority. He asked them to motivate the political parties to appoint their Booth Level Agents on priority to facilitate the BLOs in updating of election records and maintaining liaison between the election authorities for addressing various issues related to the electoral process.
Stressing upon the need for impactful operation of District Contact Centres (DCCs), the CEO urged the Deputy Commissioners to personally monitor the functioning of this important helpline facility created in every district and asked for attending every call received on “1950” helpline and appropriate resolution of every complaint.
The other important issues which were discussed included Block Level Election Management Plan, facilities at polling stations, progress of SVEEP activities, district icons, webcasting of polling stations, printing of electoral rolls, status of polling stations, status of service voters and disposal thereto, training of political parties/workers/NGOs/ASHA workers/schools/colleges about the functioning of EVMs/VVPATs etc.
Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, Joint CEO, Raman Kumar Kesar and other senior officers of the Election Department attended the conference.