EC to print record number of ballots for UP polls
The Election Commission (EC) has started printing some 22 crore ballot papers required for the upcoming six-phase Union Parishad elections, which is the largest printing task in the country's election history.
Over seven-crore ballot papers will be required for chairman election in 4,275 union parishads and some 15 crore more for member posts and reserved seats (for women), said officials at EC Secretariat.
The six-phase UP election is set to begin on March 22 with balloting in some 740 UPs in the first phase.
Unlike the 2011 UP election, the commission will not be able to print ballot papers against the chairman posts before the list of candidature is finalised as this time the chairman election is being held along party line.
The commission will only get 13-14 days to print ballot papers for the chairman post in each phase of the election after the last date for withdrawal of candidature and it will take 3-4 more days to distribute those papers across the country, said a deputy secretary at the EC Secretariat.
The ballot papers for each chairman post will be different as the papers will be inscribed with symbols of political parties and independent candidates of the particular UP, he told the news agency.
"Printing and distribution of over 700 different types of ballot papers for chairman posts within 13-14 days is a difficult task… they initially started printing some six-crore last week for member posts and reserved seats," he said.
The ballot papers will be of three different colours. White for chairman posts, green and pink for member posts and reserved seats respectively, and are being printed in five printing presses, including BG Press, Government Printing Press and Security Printing Press, said EC officials.