DIPHU, March 22 - Poll preparations for the three autonomous district constituencies is almost complete.
However till Thursday, no Independent or any other party candidate had submitted their nomination. The constituency which encompasses West Karbi Anglong, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao autonomous hill districts of Assam has the lowest number of voters (around seven lakh) among the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam with almost equal ratio of male and female voters.
According to Additional Deputy Commissioner of Karbi Anglong Mukul Kathar, in all the districts the number of polling stations have increased marginally. But due to the vastness of the geographical area of this electorate and uncharacteristic physical features, huge logistical support, including increased number of polling personnel have been hired from various government departments and agencies who are undergoing training in a phasewise manner.
Diphu Lok Sabha constituency, which is often in the news for ultra-related activities particularly during the election period, will probably see the toughest security arrangement this time.
It may be mentioned here that during the last election, a particular extremist group declared shut down (bandh) to disrupt the democratic process.
“We are expecting sufficient companies of paramilitary forces and additional police force to cover all the sensitive and very sensitive polling stations. Besides that, we have chalked out plans to nip in the bud any misadventure by any ultra organisation or anti-social elements with precautionary arrest, area domination and drive against illegal arms. In a nutshell, the security envelope will be tough this time,” Gourave Upadhyay, Superintendent of Police of Karbi Anglong said.
All the three autonomous hill districts are dotted with polling stations positioned at difficult and most intricate terrain, which is truly challenging for the polling officials to reach and carry out their duties. The bordering areas of Assam and Meghalaya of West Karbi Anglong, Singhason Hill range spread between Diphu and Bokajan subdivisions, Zinam valley and Borail range of Dima Hasao are some of the remotest and most difficult terrain where poll officials will have to reach by taking recourse to different mechanisms like motoring, cycling, hiking and even on foot, with all the poll-related gear in tow.
One particular exercise of the Election Commission of India has practically put the general voters in high spirits, i.e. practical demonstration of the EVM unit among the electors.