Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sh Ashok Lavasa and Sh Sushil Chandra today reviewed the Poll Preparedness for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020 with Chief Secretary, Commissioner of Police and senior officials of Delhi Government as also with Chief Secretaries, DGPs and senior officers of the neighbouring States namely Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Nodal Officers from Ministry of Home Affairs, CRPF, Ministry of Railways also joined the meeting.
Chairing the Video Conferencing meeting from Nirvachan Sadan, Chief Election Commissioner Sh Arora took an in depth review to ensure that due steps have been taken for smooth coordination amongst various wings of the administration and police forces of adjoining States particularly at border check posts for preventing illegal movement of cash, liquor, arms or anti social elements. The Commission advised the concerned State Officers to ensure due facilitation of cashless treatment, if required, to security forces deployed on election duty.
The Commission also reviewed necessary activities for poll preparedness with Central Observers so assigned for the forthcoming Elections. General, Police and Expenditure Observers posted in each of the seventy Assembly Constituencies apprised the Commission of work done with respect to distribution of Photo voter slips, arrangements at Polling stations for Assured Minimum facilities, and management of PwD voters, availability of adequate number of wheel Chairs, Volunteers, EVM-VVPAT arrangements, night stay arrangements for polling personnel, grievance monitoring, Facilitation of Permissions to Political parties and candidates, Security forces deployment plans, confidence building measures with local communities, seizures made by Flying Squads, inspection of candidates’ accounts, publicity of criminal antecedents of candidates, cVigil and Paid news complaints, expenditure and law and order sensitive pocket arrangements and Counting Day arrangements.
Observers assured the Commission that preparations are on schedule and gaining momentum with respect to all requisite polling day arrangements. Adequate deployment of Police forces and CAPF companies is being done and protest sites are under watch to ensure that no obstructions for polling personnel or voters would hamper movement on 8th February 2020. Some Observers however pointed out that response for registration for special postal ballot facility and pick n drop facility for senior citizens has been rather low. CEO Delhi informed that registration date has accordingly been extended to 5th February 2020. He added that distribution of wheel chairs at polling booths is being augmented where larger number of loco-motor disability voters have been registered.
Commission emphasised that the directions of Supreme Court Orders on publicity of criminal antecedents and the consequential guidelines of the Commission have to be fully complied with in print as well as electronic media and notices issued to erring candidates. Commission inter-alia laid emphasis on the need to take strict action against intimidators and violators of law; enforcement of preventive action be taken promptly to ensure smooth movement near all Polling stations, maintain peace and ensure free fair polls on 8th February 2020; adequate night stay arrangements for polling staff on duty and due vigilance by expenditure observers needs to be stepped up and stringent action be taken so that electoral atmosphere is not vitiated.
Special Police Observer Sh M K Das assured the Commission that he is personally monitoring the situation at ground level in sensitive areas. Special Expenditure Observer Sh B Murali Kumar also assured the Commission that due care will be taken by field level teams to step up enforcement.