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Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Officials complete mustering process under scorching sun

Under the scorching sun, with temperatures soaring to 37 degrees Celsius, thousands of polling officials deputed to election duty reported at mustering centres across Bengaluru on Thursday.
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 00:04 IST
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 00:04 IST

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Bengaluru: Under the scorching sun, with temperatures soaring to 37 degrees Celsius, thousands of polling officials deputed to election duty reported at mustering centres across the city on Thursday.

The mustering process involves polling officers and personnel deputed for election work collecting Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and other polling-related paraphernalia. Once EVMs are handed over, it becomes the responsibility of polling officers until remustering (the return of accessories).

The mustering process commenced around 1 pm on Thursday at all mustering centres. Before the process, Assistant Electoral Registration Officers (AEROs) at each centre deputed replacement officers in case deputed officers opted out with legitimate reasons.

Each polling booth is assigned two polling officers, a presiding officer, and an assistant presiding officer.

Voter facilitation centres

Government employees deployed for poll duty often fail to cast their votes, despite the availability of postal voting options. To address this, facilitation centres were set up at mustering centres for the first time this year. Government employees voted through these centres, operational from April 21 until Thursday.

Polling officers are dispatched to their allotted booths after handing over EVMs. They remain at the polling booths (usually schools) until the remustering process.

DH spoke to multiple polling officers and personnel at mustering centres on Thursday. The collective response highlighted problems with the assured minimum facility for government employees deputed for polling work.

“This year, the summer is particularly harsh, and fans are essential during the night. We hope such basic amenities are not compromised,” said one official.

Another official complained about poor toilet facilities, especially for women. Other issues highlighted by officers include the quality of food and water. Many of them also mentioned sleeping on the floor.

The mustering process on Thursday concluded smoothly without any hiccups in Bengaluru.

Arrangements

In addition to the extensive security deployment by the Bengaluru police, emergency services such as ambulance and fire services are in place. Public Health centres (PHCs) will remain open until the end of polling, and several hospitals have been designated for immediate treatment in emergencies

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Published 26 April 2024, 00:04 IST

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