Friday, April 17, 2009

A Lifetime experience at 173/53 – Chevella constituency

Yesterday, polling went on peacefully at Zilla Parishad Govt. High School Chevella, Shabad Mandal, Ranga Reddy district. Our booth was exclusively meant for 1036 women voters in Tallapally of which only 713 turned up. I felt that this is a good turnover, with women casting their votes enthusiastically. EVM's of both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha tallied perfectly. In addition to the five members of my team, the authorized polling agents, seated behind the polling officers, were very helpful in identifying the voters who had queued up to collect the voter slips. Local hospitality was not bad at all. Basic amenities for our brief stay were poor. This was overshadowed at night by a bright star-lit sky that displayed the Orion's belt proudly!

An hour before closing, being the presiding officer, I had problems as there were a few people who insisted on voting without proper ID's and the other polling agents, who were not authorized to enter the booth, were threatening us. As a precautionary measure, I urged all the remaining voters to come inside, bolted up the booth and continued with the voting procedures. Meanwhile I called up the zonal officer for help in getting armed police patrol to arrive at 173/53. Kudos to her for carrying out her duties with dedication and ease and arranging help on time. In less than 15' gunmen arrived and waited until the trouble creators dispersed. After the last voter, I closed the poll and then permitted them to leave. It was tough to convince those inside as well as outside and keep them under control. Can you imagine that I had to deal with the locals who fortunately didn’t get wilder? The Constable was of great help at this point of time.

Thanks to the cooperation of all present there, we could complete all the formalities and turn in the archaic polling material with zillions of sealed brown packets of all kinds, at the distribution centre at the Government Junior College, Chevella. We had dinner here and then returned home half an hour past midnight. I must appreciate the arrangements made at this centre that served unlimited mineral water, tea, piping hot palakura pappu, ullipaya charu, vankaya kura, garnished watery perugu that was both tasty and satisfying!

Some experience - Chevella tirugi velldama ?


bored kid said...

wow! looks like you had a real and complete experience at holding the election. I think your calm headed approach was quite cool. Oh..I am so proud of you for being a performing presiding officer and all.

I think it took coming to the US to better appreciate everything about India.

Vijaya Gopal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vijaya Gopal said...

Thanks Satyaki!
I understand how it feels.
What moved me that day was the spirit of our people especially the elderly women. In many ways folks here are more progressive!