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EC asks Observers to have ‘zero-tolerance’ for money, muscle power during assembly polls

The schedule for these assembly elections was announced on January 8.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Election Commission on Friday told all Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming five assembly elections to have zero-tolerance towards abuse of money power or any kind of inducements.

Addressing the Observers, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra further asked Expenditure Observers to sharpen their skills and be innovative in countering newer methods of inducement. He asked Observers to ensure proper publicity of cVIGIL App to empower citizens to report cases of violation to ensure prompt action by Flying Squads, Surveillance teams.

Addressing the Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the CEC said all the three Observers (General, Police and Expenditure) should work in coordination with Enforcement Agencies.

He asked the Observers to visit more and more Polling Booths to check for Assured Minimum Facilities to facilitate senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities and women voters. Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar told observers that that they would always be under strict microscopic scrutiny by various stakeholders and thus should be careful and discreet about their own personal behavior and conduct during the election process.

The Observers should personally attend to the suggestions and redress grievances of voters, contesting candidates and political parties. Even stray instances of human errors by polling personnel, non-compliance of covid protocols even at polling material distribution centers could create a deviant narrative and derail the smooth conduct of elections, Rajiv Kumar said.

The schedule for these assembly elections was announced on January 8. Over 1400 officials attended the sessions, with 140 Officials attending it physically at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi and the rest joining virtually from States/UTs. Officers drawn from IAS, IPS, IRS and other accounts Services across the country have been deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.