Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], April 16 (ANI): Ahead of the voting for five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand on April 19, the state's Chief Electoral Officer, BVR Purushottam, gave details on the arrangements and said that the Indo-Nepal border will be sealed from today and cross-border movement of people will be closed till April 19.

Speaking to ANI, BVR Purushottam said, "On April 19, the first round of voting will take place in 21 states. In Uttarakhand also, the election is in the first phase. Indo-Nepal border will be sealed today and cross-border movement of people will be closed till 6:00 pm on April 19."

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The election officer further added, "This time, a good thing is that along with UP, seven more bordering districts are witnessing elections together with Uttarakhand... This time, we have got around 60 companies of paramilitary forces for elections. And we believe that we will conduct peaceful elections."

The officer also talked about directing the political parties and candidates to stop their campaigning two days before the voting and assured that there would be no breach of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). "We have directed all candidates to stop campaigning 48 hours before the polling. Static and surveillance teams will be conducting thorough checks. We will ensure that there is no violation of MCC.

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Purushottam also informed on the status of election officers leaving for the polling booths and said that the team for 12 polling booths are leaving today. "Election officers for 12 polling booths, 11 in Uttarkashi and one in Pithoragarh, are leaving for their respective booths due to the location of these booths. Tomorrow, 700 teams will go to their respective areas and on the last day before the elections, on April 18, 11,000 election officers will leave for their designated areas."

When asked about the recovery of drugs and other alcoholic substances before the elections, the officer admitted that the issue is of concern and informed about the drugs and other narcotic substances seized by the authority. "This time, before three to four days of the election, we have seized drugs and other narcotic substances worth Rs 17 crore."

Uttarakhand's Chief Electoral Officer also appealed to people to cast their votes and mentioned how the authorities have made 63 lakh people take a pledge to vote. Highlighting the low voter turnout in the state, Purushottam said, "Uttarakhand has always witnessed a low polling percentage. When the national average was 67%, Uttarakhand witnessed 62%. This time, we have made 63 lakh people pledge to vote... Our team has worked hard with enthusiasm."

The Lok Sabha elections for all five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand are scheduled to take place in a single phase on April 19. (ANI)

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