6 days to go for Phase-I of Lok Sabha elections, EC takes stock of preparations : The Tribune India

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6 days to go for Phase-I of Lok Sabha elections, EC takes stock of preparations

6 days to go for Phase-I of Lok Sabha elections, EC takes stock of preparations

CEC Rajiv Kumar (C) with Election Commissioners Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar. File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 12

With just a week to go for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections (April 19), the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday reviewed preparedness for the one-and-a-half-month-long exercise, with over 350 election observers across the country.

As many as 102 seats in 21 states will go to the polls on April 19 for which 127 general, 67 police and 167 expenditure observers have been deployed.

Issues Directives to observers

  • To make sure that the flying squads, statistics surveillance teams, video-viewing teams, border check-posts and nakas work round the clock
  • Ensure that there is no movement and distribution of cash, liquor, freebees, drugs and narcotics during the poll process
  • All preparations are made in advance and level playing field provided to all stakeholders i.e. candidates and political parties
  • Observers should be physically present in their respective parliamentary constituencies during the entire election process
  • They should oversee randomisation of EVMs and VVPATs, provide a smooth process for home voting for the disabled or those above 85 years of age

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu focused on ensuring that the polling stations have all amenities for voters, no inducements are offered for votes, forces are optimally utilised and law and order is kept under strict watch.

The observers were directed to make sure that the flying squads, statistics surveillance teams, video-viewing teams, border check-posts and nakas worked round the clock with a view to ensuring that there was no movement and distribution of cash, liquor, freebees, drugs and narcotics.

The observers were asked to ensure that all preparations were made in advance and level playing field was provided to all stakeholders i.e. candidates and political parties.

The ECI also directed observers to remain physically present in the parliamentary constituency assigned to them during the entire election process.

The poll body also asked them to oversee randomisation of EVMs and VVPATs, provide a smooth process for home voting for disabled voters or those above 85 years of age. Supply of electoral rolls should be ensured to political parties and contesting candidates, the ECI told the observers.

Deployment of micro-observers and vulnerability mapping should be done by the district administration and transportation and communication plans should be prepared accordingly, it said.

The observers were also directed to commission EVMs and VVPATs before all candidates and their representatives and to provide robust security arrangements at EVM strong rooms, while allowing presence of authorised agents of all candidates.

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