Observers for poll-bound states being monitored closely, says CEO Sunil Arora


Siliguri: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Wednesday said that observers in poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry are being monitored closely by the EC.

EC officials are on a visit to Bengal to take stock of the arrangements to ensure free and fair polls maintaining proper law and order.

Addressing a press conference here, Arora said that the poll body was informed about the general observer’s inappropriate behaviour and he was removed on March 22.

“We were informed of a general observer’s inappropriate behaviour. He was removed on March 22. We have also decided to suspend him and a charge sheet will be filed. Even observers are being observed closely,” he said.

Responding to the alleged hanging incident of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mandal president in Coochbehar, Arora said, “We requested our special police observer to investigate the incident under his own supervision. Last year during the Lok Sabha elections, a similar incident occurred in Coochbehar. At that time Superintendent of Police was shifted following various allegations and this time we are also looking at it very closely.”

On the recent bomb hurling issue in various districts, the CEC said that the EC would come down heavily on the guilty parties.

He further said, “The commission has decided that webcasting will be done at least in 50 percent polling stations including in all “medical and vulnerable” polling stations.

The EC checked 19 districts for poll preparedness ahead of the elections to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. The review meeting chaired by Arora, in the presence of election commissioners Sushil Chanda and Rajib Kumar was held at Siliguri with eight northern district officials joining in person and officials of eleven district who joined through video conference.

The first phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls is scheduled to take place on March 27. The elections for 30 assembly seats will be conducted during the first phase.

Elections to the 294-member state assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will be held on May 2.

A total of 209 general observers, 55 police observers and 85 expenditure observers have been appointed for the assembly elections for all the phases. (ANI)