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Civic Polls: For additional salary, employees volunteer for otherwise-detested poll duty

SRINAGAR, Oct 11: Unlike in the previous elections, the government employees have shown more interest in poll duty for the promised one-month salary.
The state government has announced additional salary to all the government employees who will be on poll duty.
In view of the bounty, scores of employees have been approaching the departmental headquarters to volunteer for duty in the ongoing urban local body elections.
Mohammad Yusuf, an employee of Education Department, on Thursday visited the Directorate of School Education with his request for poll duty.
“Several officials in our school have been assigned the election duty. I too want to take part,” Yusuf, accompanied by a dozen employees for the same reason, said.
Asked the reason, he replied, “Whether people will vote or not, the employees will get the additional salary.”
Ghulam Mohammad, an employee of Public Health Engineering Department, approached the District Development Commissioner (DDC) Srinagar for the election duty.
“A colleague of mine is not available for poll duty. I want to replace him,” he said.
An employee, who was on duty at a polling booth at Batamaloo here in phase II of the elections, said he got his name included in the list on request.
“I requested the authorities concerned in our Education Department, and they helped me,” the official said, wishing anonymity.
An employee in the office of the DDC said they received a lot of applications from the employees wanting to be on poll duty.
“Employees are ready to bribe for the duty,” the official said, who didn’t wish to be quoted by name.
A senior official at the DDC’s office said they received a “huge response” from the employees for the election duty.
“I believe this is for the first time that employees have shown so much interest to be part of the election duty,” the official said.
In the previous elections, the official said that they would receive applications from employees, who were unwilling for polling duty and wanted canceling their duties.
“Nothing such happened this time as employees have shown interest in poll duties even though there are some threats,” the official added.
The ongoing 4-phase municipal polls began on October 8. So far two phases have been completed while the elections of rest two phases will be held on October 13 and 16.