Sunday, September 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

EC meeting on J&K poll today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
The full three-member Election Commission panel headed by Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh will meet here tomorrow to fine-tune the preparations for the four-phased Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir beginning on Monday.

Besides Mr Lyngdoh and two Election Commissioners T.S. Krishnamurthy and B.B. Tandon, several senior officials of the commission would take stock of the law and order situation in the state and also the arrangements made to ensure smooth and free and fair poll to the 87-member Assembly, commission sources said here today.

While the full commission had visited the state twice to review the situation, senior officials of the commission also made several visits and interacted with civil and police officials on the poll preparations.

Announcing the poll schedule early last month, the CEC had said, “It will be a good and credible election”.

As part of its plans to ensure maximum transparency in the conduct of the poll in the strife-torn state, the commission has issued special passes to 28 diplomats, including four each from the USA and UK, to witness the elections.

“They would be allowed access to polling and counting centres in line with the EC’s commitment to make the poll process more transparent,” a senior EC official said.

In the Kashmir valley, 16 diplomats would witness the first phase of polling on September 16, 11 diplomats in the second phase on September 24, 12 in the third phase on October 1 and two in the fourth phase on October 8. In the Jammu region, two diplomats would cover the first phase and four in the second phase.

A record number of over 400 journalists, including a large chunk of foreign media personnel, are covering the poll in the state, EC sources said, adding that adequate securitymen had been put in place in view of stepped up violence.

The term of the existing Assembly ends on October 17 and the election process for constituting the new state Assembly would be completed by October 12.

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