GUWAHATI, March 7 � The entire team of the Election Commission (EC) today arrived at the city to review the election process with the political parties and the district election officers as well.
The Election Commission (EC) team headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr SY Quraishi, was met by the representatives of different political parties to apprise it of their observations and apprehensions, at the Administrative Staff College here.
The Opposition parties pleaded with the Election Commission for steps to restrain the ruling coalition partners, from misusing the administration for their electoral gains for the greater interest of a free and fair poll in the State.
On the other hand, the ruling Congress called for strict vigilance on the part of the EC against those going to use black money in the ensuing Assembly elections. It also called for proper policing in the sensitive polling booths.
The AGP submitted a written complaint to the CEC stating that the ruling Congress was flouting all the election norms and distributing blankets, mosquito nets, bicycles, yarn, etc., to the electorate. It also insisted on seizure of all illegal arms and deployment of adequate force in all polling booths.
�We have also requested the EC to install CCTV in polling booths in sensitive areas and take all the necessary measures to instill confidence in the voters,� AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary later told media persons.
The State BJP, while expressing its dissatisfaction before the CEC, said that several district administrations were playing a partisan role and furthering the interests of the ruling party. It also requested the CEC to ready the basic infrastructure for the ensuing Assembly elections and pointed out that in many areas even the constituency map was not available.
�If the constituency map is not ready, it would be next to impossible to coordinate the poll preparedness,� said a party official. The party further said that the date of the second phase of election would affect voter turn out in district like Dhubri. The party said that people in seven Assembly constituencies in Dhubri district religiously observe Ashokashtami which this time coincide with the second phase of election on April 11.
On top of these, a two-member delegation of the AIUDF requested of the CEC to consider changing the date of the second phase of the polls in view of the auspicious occasion of Ashokashtami. The party insisted that the BDOs and JEs be transferred as there was a chance of them manipulating the elections in favour of the ruling party. The party also appealed for deployment of more Central security force in char and interior areas, appointment of micro observers and entrusting the responsibility of the strong rooms to central administrative officials.
The ruling Congress, however, assured full cooperation to the EC in implementing its guidelines. Expressing its willingness to extend support to the EC in matters of austerity, the ruling party said that it would point out those using black money for electoral gains, said party general secretary Dr Haren Das.