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Postal ballot for journalists; ECI receives appreciation

by Guru Aribam Naocha
0 comment 2 minutes read

IT News
Guwahati, Mar 11:

The decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for extending postal ballot facility for the first time bringing journalists under the essential services voter category in poll-bound Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Kerala, has been appreciated by various media rights bodies including the Indian Journalists Union (IJU).
Mentionable is that ahead of assembly elections in four states and one union territory, the autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India, has allowed postal ballot facility for senior citizens above 80 years, people with disabilities, Covid-19 positive (also suspected and quarantined) individuals and persons employed in essential services to enable them to vote.
Media persons (authorized by ECI for the poll day) have been brought under the essential services category facilitating them to exercise their franchise. Addressing the long-pending grievance of media persons, the ECI has introduced the provision, said IJU president K Sreenivas Reddy and secretary-general Balwinder Singh Jammu, adding that the media fraternity should utilize the opportunity and perform a sacred duty in a democracy.
Earlier, northeast India-based Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) also appreciated the ECI for granting postal-ballot facilities to media persons under the specific category where other beneficiaries include the employees of electricity, health department, telecom, railways, aviation, fire, ambulance, shipping services, etc.
Journo-bodies across the south Asian nation were lately demanding the postal ballot facility to scribes as thousands of media employees could not vote for their professional duties on a particular day.
First, most of the media workers based in the city are non-natives and they had to move to their home town or villages and secondly, many of them had to perform their duties on the date of polling.
“The media persons often miss the opportunity to exercise their voting rights as they cannot leave the workplace on the poll day and thus every time a large number of valuable votes go to waste,” said JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, adding that it is now the turn for media persons to show sincerity towards the newly introduced ECI advantage.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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