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CEC reviews State poll preparedness

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 22 - In poll-bound Assam, the focus area of the Election Commission is licensed arms deposition and seizure of illicit arms and explosives, besides execution of all non-bailable warrants and checking the use of black money, said Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi, reviewing election preparedness here today.

The district election officers and SPs have been directed to strictly curb the movement of illegal arms, fake currencies imported from outside, and so on.

So far, Rs 7.12 crore has been seized by the expenditure monitoring wing of the EC, which is many times higher than the past seizure, said Zaidi, addressing the media here. This apart, five lakh litres of liquor and drugs have been seized so far. �It was possible due to our effective machinery and expenditure monitoring mechanism,� he added.

The full Commission led by the CEC Dr Zaidi and Election Commissioners AK Joti and OP Rawat reviewed the situation in the State on March 21 and 22.

�The Commission has also directed district and State-level officials to comprehensively review and reassess vulnerable locations, where the voters feel intimidated. Accordingly, security plans would be prepared from the grassroots level, including surveillance of such locations and confidence-building measures. Such measures would be under the focus of the Commission,� he stated.

�The political parties have also demanded provision of CCTV and its display outside strongrooms to keep an eye on the strongrooms from their camps,� he added.

Out of the 32,003 licensed arms, 23,797 have been deposited and 514 impounded with an assurance about deposition of the same well within time. Similarly, 3,028 non-bailable warrants (NBW) have also been executed upto March 21 and pending 4,556 NBWs would be executed very fast. The authorities are on the alert with intensive monitoring of history-sheeters, identified hooligans and anti-social elements. Gifts and paid news would also be monitored.

Expressing satisfaction on the overall poll preparedness in the State, the CEC, however, said that the Commission cannot be complacent with the arrangements done so far. With announcement of the election, 389 flying squads have been activated and more than 355 check posts have been set up in the State.

�The Commission has directed for mobilising IT and mobile applications for facilitation of electors, election managers, political parties and candidates. As a part of it, Samadhan, an online grievance registration and redress system has been put in place, which has received 774 complaints, of which 693 have been disposed off,� he said. Suvidha, a single window system for the political parties and candidates seeking different permissions during the electioneering phase has also been made operational.

Making the elections more accessible, arrangements have been made to provide temporary or permanent ramps for persons with disabilities. Braille ballots will be given to all the presiding officers for use by the visually challenged electors. The orthopaedically impaired will be assisted with wheel chairs or makeshift carrying facilities.

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