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Now, a helpline for confused Delhi voters

Sabi Hussain in New Delhi | November 21, 2008 12:32 IST

Which is my new constituency? Where will I get my voter ID card from? How can I correct my name in the voters' list?

Queries like this, which run into about 2,500 every day, are raining at the helpline centre set up for the first time by the Election Commission in the poll-bound national capital.

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The centre, established to ensure hassle-free information for voters, has 15 lines functioning for as many hours daily.

"The centre has been receiving 2,000-2,500 calls daily," says Delhi's [Images] Chief Electoral Officer Satbir Sailas Bedi.

Set up under the direct supervision of Joint Chief Electoral Officer Uday Bakshi, it has different lines with a common number 011-47617500.

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"The callers have to make a call on the number to seek answers to their questions," says Bakshi.

General queries that are being addressed include those pertaining to delivery of voters' ID cards, mistakes in names, address or age and also pertaining to election procedure post-delimitation.

"With areas being re-configured after delimitation, a recurring question that voters are asking is about the status of their constituency," says Bedi.

The centre, which opened few days back within the premises of the Commission, is employing 30 people who work in two shifts throughout the day from 7 am till 10 pm.

The centre will function till November 29, the date of voting.

Voters appreciated the utility of the help-line, saying it had helped them a lot.

"The centre helped me clear my doubts regarding the re-figuring of my constituency and our status after the delimitation," says Shabbir Ahmed, a resident of Minto Road, which has now been incorporated into the Matia Mahal segment.

"It also helped me know the status of my son's EPIC, which is yet to be delivered," Ahmed adds.

The centre is also sending regular SMSs to voters to sensitise them on their electoral rights and make them aware about the existence of the facility, Bedi says.

"The basic purpose of introducing such a system was to ensure more and more voters exercise their franchise and successfully conduct the polls," said Bedi.

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