A total of 80 ITBP personnel cast their ballot under the service voter category from a border location in Arunachal Pradesh, a senior official said Saturday. The troops voted for their respective constituencies in Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh among few others, from the Animal Training School of the frontier guarding force in Lohitpur on Friday, he said.
This is the first case of service voters exercising their franchise in this north eastern border state in 2019. These postal ballots will now be sent to their respective constituencies for counting on May 23. "The first service vote in Arunachal Pradesh was cast by Deputy Inspector General Sudhakar Natarajan. A total of 80 personnel voted. "Other units of the force in the state and other far-flung areas are undertaking the same process," an Indo-Tibetan Border Police force spokesperson said. Personnel of the armed forces, armed police forces and state police personnel deployed outside their constituencies are considered as service voters.
Diplomats and other support staff serving in embassies are also service voters. The Election Commission had said in February that there was a substantial increase in the number of service voters in the country enrolled ahead of the Lok Sabha elections as compared to 2014. A total of 16,62,993 service personnel have been enrolled as service electors in the country in the electoral roll for 2019 polls, it had said. The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls will begin on April 11 and end on May 19.
(With inputs from agencies.)