Thursday, October 15, 2009

Creativity at its best during Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Election, 2009

This Assembly Election, Arunachal Pradesh was witness to two very different kind of creativity. On the one hand creativity was applied for smooth poll process whereas on the other hand creativity was applied to disrupt the poll process.

Taking advantage of Information Technology in this poorly connected state, the Election Office of two districts of Arunachal Pradesh, namely West Kameng and Tirap was able to conduct peaceful polling in polling stations which had historical precedence of disturbance during the poll process. It was reported that West Kameng District Election Office led by Swati Sharma and Tirap District Election Office led by Ankur Garg had installed cameras in selected hyper-sensitive polling stations and the entire poll process was webcast. The result; the poll process was conducted peacefully without any untoward incidence in these hyper-sensitive polling stations, thanks to the creativity of these two dynamic officers.

The District Election Office led by a young IAS officer Swati Sharma had a trial during the counting process of the last Parliamentary elections. The idea took off from there. Sharma said that critical and hypersensitive polling booths were webcast.

Even if anyone had an intention to disrupt the poll process, they were discouraged by the cameras which were feeding it live across the world.

Posted in a district which has been in news for all the wrong reasons, Tirap DC Ankur Garg made use of electronic connectivity to compensate for lack of road connectivity, literally.

The webcast was for hyper sensitive stations which had a history related to crowd control. Thanks to webcast, there was no repeat of history.

The voters were exceptionally well behaved, and in certain cases even very well dressed since they knew they were being telecast all over the world, quipped Garg.

In a state, where transparency is forgotten most of the time, Webcast was good reminder. The entire polling process was for all to see.

Source-The Arunachal Times

The other incident where there was display of a very different kind of creativity at two polling stations of 17 Ziro-Hapoli constituency, namely Hari-C and Hija, has left me totally dumbstruck.

It was reported that in these two polling stations the balloting unit was 'creatively' tampered with. A randomized name likely to favor their candidate was reportedly pasted over the names appearing in ballot unit so that whenever voters pressed the button of the candidate (the probable candidate likely to get majority of votes in that particular polling station) on balloting unit, the votes would be registered in their candidates favor. I would say, a very creative way to manipulate the result based on assumption that the majority of voters of that particular polling station would vote for a particular candidate. But how on earth they came to a definite conclusion that a particular candidate would get majority of votes in that particular polling station?

This discrepancy was noticed at Hari-C polling station when some 30 votes or so had been cast and the polling officials were deciding to continue the poll with new EVM when supporter of Trinamool Congress along with the party candidate stormed the polling booth and damaged the EVM. The result; repoll has been ordered to the much agony of the voters. Similar display of creativity was seen at Hija Polling station and the discrepancy was noticed quite late demanding repolling.


  • PB

    Tirap distrit, despite being remote, already has one of the best State official websites, with interactive sketch map, good administrative maps (a rarity!), citizen services section, articles, etc.

  • AG

    Credit goes to Ankur Garg, Deputy Commissioner of Tirap District.

  • buru

    It is not difficult to predict the popular person in rural centres; because of the low population, and the interconnected relationships within our villages, people often know the exact number of votes that a candidate is going to receive in a particular village, down to the split-voting within the family.
    In very big villages & towns there is uncertainty of loyalty.

  • AG

    Hmm...guess that was the basis of assumption while going in for creative manipulation of ballot unit..

  • keti

    This is the first time that creative manipulation with the electronic voting machines have been resorted to. Any electronic gadget, whether it is voting machine or else, these can be manipulated in one way or the other, but point with changing locative party symbol bearing stickers is concerned, who has that guts to do such appalling job?

  • Tutho

    At Bameng, polling party was on the way back to deposit the EVM Than they realised the pasting of jumble candidate name and symbol over they origin . They had good ran before damaging the EVM

  • AG

    Hmm...another creative way to cover up their carelessness...;)

  • Keti

    The Bameng incident is a follow-up of the Ziro incident so far as nature of mischieves are concerned. They have gut, guts full of foolishness and ignorance. AG, do you agree?

  • Tutho

    Sorry for poor grammar, Polling Agent of INC realised after the departure of Polling Official that the Symbol was jumbled. Polling official had no clue about manipulation.

  • AG

    You mean it was the polling agent and not the polling officials who destroyed the EVM.

  • Tutho

    Yes, Polling Agent and his party.

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