Elections in MP will be held timely: Rawat

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Aug 2018 10:34:09



Staff Reporter

The Election Commission of India has made it clear that Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh will be held timely. “Our arrival is a harbinger that elections would be held timely in State,” said Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat talking to reporters during a press conference in Bhopal on Wednesday.

Chief Election Commissioner Rawat further added that from now on, Government officials are on radar of the Election Commission. The Commission has instructed officials to work with neutrality and even slight partiality will attract strict action.

He said that the Election Commission was satisfied with the election-related preparations done so far and more is still to be done. By July 31, State has total 4.94 crore voters, including 2.59 crore male voters and 2.34 crore female voters. Third gender voters’ figure is 1,286.
“The Election Commission is committed for free, fair and credible elections,” he asserted.

Answering a question that villagers living in hamlet of Rajgarh have written on walls of their houses that they will go for NOTA and no one shall seek vote from them, he told that such voters would be made aware of importance of vote.

They will be requested not to waste their vote. When asked that some Government officials are involved in CM’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra, he told that if any such thing happens and comes into the light of Commission then action would be taken. He informed that during two day visit, the Election Commission met representatives of various political parties to understand their issues and concerns. Commission also reviewed work of collectors, SPs and discussed issues with Chief Secretary, DGP, Home Secretary and other senior officials of state. Commission also discussed strategy with various enforcement agencies such as Income Tax department and Excise department etc.

He told that political parties demanded deployment of CAPF during election and adequate security should be provided to state. Parties sought proper security arrangements at sensitive and vulnerable polling booths. Some parties demanded to prevent any attempt of campaigning based on religion and caste and those officials found to be affiliated with any socio religious organisation.

Parties also demanded to effectively check the distribution of liquor, especially on day of polling, before polling. Some parties demanded deployment of CCTV in sensitive and vulnerable polling booths.

He also informed that some political parties raised issues related to EVM and VVPAT and counting of VVPAT slips and requested that more trust should be instilled amongst the electorate by increasing the number of polling stations for counting of slips.

Some parties suggested that wherever winning margin is less than 1000, results be declared after slip count.
Some parties wanted that additional time for polling should be provided in those polling stations where voting was delayed due to malfunctioning of EVM and VVPAT. Meanwhile, he claimed that EVMs are manufactured under strict vigilance.

Some parties also raised complaint about duplicate voters and demanded to undertake effective verification process. Most of the political parties demanded that voter ID card should be linked to Aadhaar card to avoid any possibility of duplicate votes. Political parties also demanded that all young citizens who completed 18 years of age beyond January 1 of year may also be able to register as voter. Some political parties also underlined that festivals like Diwali, Amavasya, Iztema Tabligi during November should be kept in mind while scheduling the elections.

The Commission took note of concerns and suggestions of political parties and assured them that Commission will put in place an effective mechanism to ensure smooth conduct of entire poll process in free, fair and transparent manner. The Commission directed CEO MP to carry out an extensive VVPAT awareness campaign in State. First time in MP, EVMs with VVPAT will be used in all 65,340 polling stations of 230 Assembly seats.

The Commission reviewed with enforcement agencies to curb misuse of money, drug, liquor and gifts distribution. He also shed light on some innovative steps taken by Commission.

He told that new e-vigil will allow anyone in election bound state to violations of model code of conduct. By using this app, citizens can immediately report on incidents of misconduct within minutes of incident. Commission has also launched Election Monitoring System App EMSIE during the poll preparedness review meeting in Bhopal. This App will provide easy platform to all DEOs to assess progress on election related activities and rectify delays. Commission theme is easy accessibility for elections.