From District Election Officer-cum-Returning Officer, West, Shri Karma R. Bonpo

Gyalshing, 13 Apr (IPR): District Election Officer cum Returning Officer, West, Shri Karma R. Bonpo, informed about the storage of the Polled EVMs/VVPATs and security arrangements for the polled EVMs/VVPATs.

The Returning Officer informed that all the polled EVMs/VVPATs have been stored in the strong rooms located at Government Girl Senior Secondary Schools.

The EVMs/VVPATs of each assembly constituency has been stored in their respective strong rooms. The EVMs/VVPATs strong room was sealed in the presence of the General Observor Shri Faisal Aftab and representative of the political parties after the polls.

The entire strong room is under 24×7 CCTV coverage and a three tier security system has been provided for the security of the strong rooms. The inner tier of the strong room is being guarded by 1 platoon of Central Armed Police Force, the middle tier is being guarded by 1 platoon of IRBn and the outer tier is being guarded by the State Police.

The security arrangements have been done as per the ECI guidelines and Superintendent of Police West, Shri Tenzing Loden Lepcha, is monitoring the arrangements on a daily basis.

The Returning Officer has also informed that a room has been provided for representatives of Political parties to stay and keep a watch over the activities near the strong room. A CCTV monitor has been installed in the room for the representatives to keep a watch over the strong room.

He also informed that reserve EVMs/VVPATs has been kept in a new EVM Warehouse at Kyongsa. The list of EVMs/VVPATs used polling stations wise has been provided to the political parties and list of EVMs/VVPATs replaced on poll days has been provided to the political parties.

Press Release From District Election Officer-cum-Returning Officer, North, Shri Raj Yadav

Mangan, 13 Apr (IPR): District Election Officer-cum-Returning officer, North District, Shri Raj Yadav, IAS has informed about the security arrangements made for Strong room as per the ECI directions in a press release today.

He informed that as per ECI directions category A & B EVMs (Polled EVMs and Defective polled EVMs) have been stored at New Strong room, District Administrative Centre, Mangan, likewise Category C & D EVMs (Unused defective and reserved) have been shifted to old strong room, Zilla Bhawan, Mangan to avoid any confusion in presence of all political parties on 11th April itself after receiving from polling parties.

Further, all other Election related material has been sealed in old strong room after scrutiny on 12th April in the presence of representatives of all political parties.

He informed that both Strong rooms have CCTV cameras and CAPF to guard as per ECI instructions. At New Strong room, DAC Mangan Four rooms have been identified for Political parties to stay and to keep watch, if they want with display of all CCTVs coverage with proper power back up. Proper lighting and barricading have been ensured at New Strong room.

Security arrangements have been checked by General observers and all political parties and all found satisfactory as per norms.

Press Release from the Office of the District Election Officer, East, Shri Kapil Meena

Gangtok, 12 Apr (IPR): District Election Officer and Returning Officer of East District, Mr Kapil Meena, has informed all the General Public that during the entire polling process, all rules and guideline of Election Commission have been followed scrupulously to ensure full transparency as well as free and fair elections.

He has stated that there cannot be any ground for any doubts on the full proof authentication procedures as prescribed by Election Commission of India. It came to the knowledge that some political party supporters flagged issue of reserve/un-used EVMs/VVPATs being transported yesterday on Social Media.

It is hereby to inform all that as per Election Commission of India rules only polled EVMs and VVPATs are kept inside Sealed Strong Rooms and all other reserve/extra/un-used or defective un-polled machines are required to be kept at different place in designated warehouse. Hence the plan to transport un-polled machines was as per the ECI rules and was all verified as per the list of machines of different categories.

Further, an issue of Route discussion and allegation of tampering with machine was made against one polling party of Upper Burtuk in late night and team was forced to wait for three hours on the way by some people. The issue was later resolved amicably on interaction by District Administration and Security agencies. Once the polling party arrived at reception centre, all seals were checked and no tampering or irregularities were found.

Accordingly in both cases all political party representatives were briefed in detail and they were fully satisfied. Even these explanations were videographed and General Observers were briefed on the issues.

The DEO has requested all general public to not believe in any rumours about poll process tampering or any possibilities of manipulation in machines which is an impossible and unthinkable thing. He has stated that our District Election team has always worked hard as per the Election Commission of India guidelines which was followed in all processes.

All EVMs/VVPATs are numbered uniquely and the same is checked in every stage to ensure that there are no manipulation or mistakes. Everyone needs to be assured that all due process have been followed and issue raised have been resolved to the full satisfaction of concern parties. All contesting candidates have been provided with list of Commissioned EVMs and those used in Polling on the Poll day which cannot be altered.

The DEO denies allegation if any of attempts of deviations or malpractices during entire process till now and reiterates that it has been ensured that polls are totally transparent, free, fair and in accordance with Election Commission of India’s idea of democratic elections.

South District goes to exercise their franchise

Namchi, 12 Apr (IPR): Voting for the eight Assembly Constituencies and Assembly segments of Parliamentary Constituency and Sangha started on a high note in various polling stations of South District as people turned out in huge numbers to exercise their franchise today. South District has a total number of 11,7564 voters out of which 5,9359 are male and 58205 are female voters.

The first Polling team to arrive in the Control Room after successfully conducting the polling for General Elections 2019 from South District was the team stationed at Salleybong Junior High School Polling Station under 11 Namchi Singhithang Constituency while the last team to arrive at the Control room was the polling team from Tumin Secondary school under 16-Tumin Lingi constituency.

Similarly the first women polling team to arrive was the team from Namchi Senior Secondary School Room No.2 followed by the polling team of New Secondary School Room No.2 under 11-Namchi Singhithang constituency. The polling teams handed the Polled EVMs and VVPATs along with other polling materials to the concerned officials in the Control room at Namchi Senior Secondary School auditorium.

The Polling Station with the lowest number of voters in Sikkim falls under South District. The polling station is Community Hall at Pakzer under 10 Poklok- Kamrang Assembly Constituency with 175 voters.

Similarly, the Polling Station with the highest number of voters in South district is Kewzing Senior Secondary School at Barfung B under 09 Barfung Assembly Constituency with a total of 1273 voters.

A total of 30 number of Polling Station has been identified as critical Polling Stations in the district.