New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Rewarding excellence in conduct of elections on the occasion of National Voters Day, the Election Commission on Sunday honoured the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Naxal-hit Gadchiroli for his comprehensive security arrangements during Maharashtra assembly polls last year. The initiative of SP Mohammed Suvez Haque, who was conferred the Best Electoral Practices award by former President A P J Abdul Kalam in the presence of Chief Election Commissioner H S Brahma, had pushed up voter participation in Gadchiroli to 69.84% from 65.91% in 2009, earning the district the fifth rank in terms of polling percentage.

District election officer (DEO) of Pune Saurabh Rao and returning officer of Parvati assembly constituency Jyoti Kadam were also conferred the EC's award for putting out the "fastest" results for Parvati during counting of votes in Maharashtra last year. The officers, who were personally praised by CEC H S Brahma, had declared the seat's results in a record time of 110 minutes. 

Among the other awardees were the DEO of Reasi district in Jammu & Kashmir Shahid Iqbal, who was honoured for initiating a voter awareness programme called 'Jashn-e-Jamhuriat' which led to an unprecedented 38 percent rise in voter turnout in the district from 43 per cent in 2009 to 81 per cent in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. 

Income-Tax department's DG (Investigations) for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Amrendra K Tiwary was awarded for effective deployment of surveillance teams to curb black money during polls. Bhatinda's (Punjab) additional deputy commissioner Sonali Giri too received recognition for making good use of technology and developing an Android application 'i-vote' for easy access to election-related information to the electorate. 

National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) bagged the National CSO Award for best voter education and awareness for General Election 2014.

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