Eighty-two-year-old Basanti Shit in West Bengal's Jhargram district was among the first to have exercised her franchise in the assembly elections through doorstep voting facility, an official said on Wednesday. The octogenarian cast her vote from the comfort of her home on Tuesday as the Election Commission has made provision for voting through postal ballot for senior citizens above 80 years of age and persons with disability.
Seven others from her ward, including six octogenarians and another person with disability, have also cast their votes through postal ballots. "A team of poll personnel and agents of parties, along with a few CRPF personnel and policemen went to the woman's house on Tuesday morning. A cardboard structure was set up at her residence so that she can cast her vote in secret.
"Her family members were not allowed to enter the room where the poll was conducted. The ballot paper was kept in an envelope and sealed in front of her. The polling process was videographed," the EC official said. Four assembly constituencies in Jhargram will go to the polls in the first phase on March 27.
Her grandson said she was delighted as she was able to exercise her franchise from home. "My grandma cannot walk properly. It would be very difficult for us to take her to the polling booth. As the Election Commission has allowed senior citizens and persons with disability to vote through postal ballots, we have opted for this. She is very happy," the grandson said.
Around 86 teams of polling personnel will visit residences of people who opted for the doorstep voting facility for the next six days ahead of the first phase polls, the official said. Electors who qualify to vote from home in Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia, where polling will be held in the first phase, will also get a chance later this week, he added.