The Himachal Pradesh administration has sought 42 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) for conducting free and fair Lok Sabha elections in the state, an election official said here Monday.
The hill state goes to polls on May 19 to elect four Lok Sabha members. The notification for the polls will be issued on April 22 and the last date for filing of nomination papers is April 29.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Devesh Kumar said that 42 companies of CAPFs have been sought from the Ministry of Home Affairs for smooth conduct of the elections. He was accompanied by Additional Director General (Law and Order) Shayam Bhagat Negi.
The strength of a company is about 100 personnel.
The CEO said one company of the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) has already been provided.
Kumar said that of the total 7,723 polling stations in the state, 950 have been categorised as "vulnerable" and 367 "critical". Extra security staff will be deployed at these two categories of stations, he added.
Besides, a special vigil is being kept on 99 entry and exit points to adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand, Negi said.
A total of 88,127 are first-time voters -- 48,211 male, 39,889 female and 27 transgender -- in the state, Kumar said.
However, this number may increase as those who turned 18 on January 1, 2019 may enrol themselves as voters till April 19, he added.
Any eligible person may enrol as voter after filling up the required form till 10 days before the last date of filing nomination papers, which is April 29 for the state. Scrutiny of nominations will be held on April 30 and the last date of withdrawal is May 2.
The total number of voters in the state has increased to 51,59,000 -- 26,45,584 male, 25,13,357 female and 59 transgender -- compared to 48,10,071 in the 2014 parliamentary elections, the CEO added.
A total of 62,131 are service voters in Himachal Pradesh this time, he added.
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