Leh Additional Deputy Commissioner Sonam Chosjor speaking to ANI on Wednesday. [Photo/ANI]
Leh Additional Deputy Commissioner Sonam Chosjor speaking to ANI on Wednesday. [Photo/ANI]

With EVMs used for first time, Leh council polls to ensure 'no voter is left behind'

Ashoke Raj | Updated: Oct 21, 2020 15:43 IST

Leh (Laddakh) [India], October 21 (ANI): Political campaigning and rallies have been stopped ahead of the Leh Autonomous Hills Development Council (LAHDC) election scheduled to take place on October 22, in which people of the region are going to vote through Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for the first time.

“This is the sixth Leh council election which is going to be held on October 22. This time people of Leh are going to cast their vote through EVMs. There are a total 26 seats in the Leh council and 94 candidates are in the fray. With around 90,000 voters in the region, our mission is no voter to be left behind,” Additional Deputy Commissioner (DC), Leh, Sonam Chosjor told ANI on Wednesday.

The official underlined that election in mountain terrain like Leh is not an easy task.

"Many challenges will arise in council election due to weather, COVID-19 and communication this time. Challenges are very tough in the villages near LAC, the temperature is very low. We have made arrangements for a special vehicle like a Gypsy and four by four vehicles for the polling parties and to provide all necessary stuff to the polling officers,” Chosjor said.

The local administration has sought help from the Indian Air Force (IAF) to transport polling parties and their material to places where road connectivity is poor. 

“This time we have arranged a chopper from IAF to deploy polling parties with EVMs and other election material in two booths Dipling and Jingchan, Khalsi subdivision. The area is known trans Singalya near Leh-Kargil border,” he said.

Ahead of Leh council elections, IAF and Pawanhans chopper have been kept on standby in case any need for an emergency rescue arises during the poll.

A total number of 294 booths have been set up for the upcoming elections. Deployment of polling parties with EVMs and election material has been made and officers are on the way to the China border areas (Demchok, Chumur, Koyul and Korzok).

This time around, the administration has also made a special arrangement for the senior citizen and physically challenged voters.

“A-team has been constituted to ensure voting by senior citizens and specially-abled voters. This team will visit their homes to allow them to cast their votes through postal ballots. Meanwhile, during COVID we have also managed to provide a postal ballot for those who are currently in institutional quarantine, home quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even suspected COVID patients will also cast their votes through postal ballots,” Chosjor said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are the major political parties in the fray in the Leh council election. (ANI)