GUWAHATI, March 12 � The Opposition parties of the State today called upon the Election Commission to take all effective steps to ensure free-and-fair polls, while the Congress demanded that the issue of �D� voters be dealt with immediately so that no genuine citizen is deprived of voting rights.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) general secretary Ramesh Jain, who led the party�s delegation that met the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners today, said that Assam is the only Sate where the Election Commission categorised a large number of people as �D� voters and in the process, a large number of citizens have been deprived of their right to vote.
Jain said that in Goalpara district alone, about 19,000 persons were categorised as �D� voters. About three thousand such names were referred to the tribunals and more than two thousand of them were declared as Indian citizens. �We are not saying that names of foreigners should be included in the voters� lists, but no genuine Indian citizen should be deprived of the right to vote,� he said.
The second major demand of the Congress is that additional forces should be deployed in the sensitive areas to prevent rigging and booth capturing and the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all the officers engaged in election duty and the election observers should be made public.
The Congress further demanded that the EC should allow one doctor, one security personnel and one party member on helicopters along with the star campaigners.
The BJP State unit demanded that all government logistics, including fields, should be distributed equally among all the political parties. The election control room should have adequate number of phones and should be operated round the clock. Night patrolling should also be beefed up to prevent distribution of blankets, liquor, etc., by some political parties. Illegal arms should be seized immediately. The model code of conduct should be translated into different languages so that the same can be distributed to the voters in all levels.
Meanwhile, the AGP demanded that all steps should be taken to ensure free-and-fair polls and the Commission should ensure that no one can fiddle with the electronic voting machines. Adequate security should also be provided in the strong rooms and the rooms should be opened only in presence of the agents of all the political parties, said AGP working president Atul Bora. The AGP also said that the Congress should be prevented from using the administrative machinery during the polls.