Our poll action heroes


  • Published 6.05.16

 Apropos the article “Under their watch” published on April 29, I had always been proud of the peace that prevailed in our township till the 2015 elections shattered that image in my mind. So naturally this year on Election Day, I woke up with trepidation. 

But I needn’t have worried for the central forces took care of everything. From the evening before, I saw the jawans stopping cars and autos entering Salt Lake and checking them thoroughly. On the day of the polls, I was surprised to see the political party stalls quite far from the booth. They had just two chairs and just as many people sitting there. Gone was the mini gathering of last year!

There wasn’t a single outsider in the lane outside my booth at Bhagabati Devi Balika Vidayalaya and the booth itself had sufficient central force guards. 

The gun-toting men were vigilant and observed every face that approached the polling station while still being courteous and caring. They politely asked me for my voter ID card, checked my slip, and directed me to the correct room. I even saw them guiding senior citizens with utmost care. 

Not once did I see the forces take a break to sit, chat, eat or smoke. They were the true action heroes of the day who ensured peaceful polls. Their presence was a blessing for Salt Lake and thanks to them, my faith in the elections is restored. 

Nandini Bhattacharjee, AE Block

• The central forces at the polling stations were very efficient. 

Last time, I had a bad experience despite going to vote early in the morning. So this year, my next-door friend and I went to cast votes at 1pm. Our booth at Labony School was decorated with balloons, a fountain and shamiana and the premises had many rifle-wielding guards. 

As I prepared to enter the polling booth, a jawan asked me not to carry my bag in. I promptly dropped my bag and umbrella on a chair outside. 

Right then, another voter tried to rush in with his briefcase but was caught by the same jawan. The man said he was an important person and that he had the right to enter with his briefcase but the jawan would not relent. A quarrel ensued, till another jawan took the briefcase and kept it outside. The man protested but no one listened to him. 
In the meantime, I had cast my vote and I returned home, satisfied that the central forces would not compromise on anything.  

Debanjana Ghatak, Labony Estate

A jawan checks a voter’s EPIC card in AE Block. (Shubham Paul)

Long wait to vote

• Apropos the article “Long queues as 1 New Town EVM serves 2,000-plus”, my wife and I were two of the unfortunate people who had to cast our votes at the mentioned polling booth at Head Works Site Zone 1 next to Tank 1. 

We had reached the booth 8.40am and we had to wait for more than four hours to cast our vote! We’ve never had to stand for so long in our lives. There was no shade, no drinking water and those who went without umbrellas and handkerchiefs had it worse than others. My wife fell ill upon reaching home that day and suffered for the next three or four days.

What sort of system is this? When no more than 1,200 voters are supposed to be enlisted per EVM how can there be more than 2,300 voters here? 

K. Pattanayak, East Enclave Housing, New Town

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