Election Commission Grants Service Voting Rights to Deployed 2,000 TSR Personnel in Delhi & Chhattisgarh

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, April 03, 2024: The Election Commission has granted permission for approximately 2,000 personnel and officers of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), currently deployed in Delhi and Chhattisgarh, to exercise their voting rights as ‘service voters’ in the upcoming elections. This decision marks the first instance of such an allowance being made by the commission.

The TSR personnel, serving in two battalions, have been stationed in the national capital under the jurisdiction of the Delhi police since 2019 and in Southeastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) in Chhattisgarh since 2022. This move comes after Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura, S. Bandopadhyay, addressed the matter promptly with the Election Commission of India, seeking guidance on enrolling TSR personnel as service voters.

In response, the Election Commission confirmed their eligibility and advised Tripura authorities to proceed with their enrollment. Consequently, efforts are underway to facilitate the enrollment of all eligible TSR personnel as service voters. This initiative follows concerns raised by opposition leader Jitendra Choudhury, who emphasized the importance of ensuring that all eligible voters, including those serving outside the state, have the opportunity to exercise their franchise.

Choudhury, also the Tripura CPIM Secretary, had earlier highlighted that the TSR personnel deployed in Delhi and Chhattisgarh are Tripura residents whose names have been included in the updated electoral rolls. He urged the Election Commission to provide options such as postal ballots or designated polling centers in their respective places of posting.

Of the 14 TSR battalions in Tripura, one is stationed in Delhi, one at SECL in Chhattisgarh, and another provides security to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s drilling sites in the state.

As Tripura prepares for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with polling scheduled for April 19 and April 26 for Tripura West and Tripura East constituencies respectively, along with a by-election in the Ramnagar assembly segment on April 19, this decision ensures that the democratic rights of TSR personnel are upheld, regardless of their duty stations.

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