Requests for poll duty exemption flood DC office

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Mysore: With the Lok Sabha elections just a few days away, the government officials drafted for poll duty are seeking exemption from election-related work citing various of reasons.

Government servants are thronging the deputy commissioner’s office seeking exemption from poll duty citing sickness, pregnancy, marriage and old age as reasons. So far, around 350 officials in the district have been given respite from poll duty.

The district administration has finalised around 11,700 polling officials (including ROs, AROs, and PROs) for the Mysore-Kodagu constituency. According to Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, she continues to receive such requests from hundreds of officials.

“Only pregnant women, lactating mothers and persons with severe ailments have been exempted from poll duty, after examination by the medical board. Exemption has been given only in genuine cases, where officials were suffering from life-threatening diseases like cancer and cardiac ailments. Everyone can have a backache and that’s not an excuse to escape poll duty, which is non-negotiable,” she said.

According to sources, there were also instances of senior officials requesting the exemption, many of whom were trying to use the influence of higher-ups.

With several officials being designated for poll duty, there is a possibility of government and development work being hampered. Shikha clarified that all essential services are being provided, without causing inconvenience to the public.

However, the Election Commission is clear on the non-deputation of physicians and nurses to election work, as their services are considered to be emergency and elemental in nature.

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