Aiming to ensure free and fair elections in Chhattisgarh, Election Commission of India is going to make necessary arrangements for webcasting of polling in the naxal-hit areas of the state in the coming assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said that as per the availability of internet connectivity, webcasting facility in sensitive and hypersensitive areas facing naxal problem will be made. The move will ensure monitoring at all levels for the smooth conduct of elections.
Sufficient number of choppers will be deployed into the task so that entire polling parties can return with EVM machines after polling is over in insurgency-hit districts, added Rawat.
Rawat said all steps are being taken to ensure free, fair and inclusive elections. For the first time, accessibility observers are being deployed to assist differently-ables and people with other special needs to ensure their participation in the election process.
He said people with special needs are being identified so that facilities like wheelchair could be provided to them to reach the polling station.
Ç-Vigil App’ facility will be provided so that any voter can lodge complaints, added the CEC.
He further informed that political parties demanded the deployment of CAPF forces and in particular protection to contesting candidates in the Left Wing Extremism area in Bastar region. Special security arrangements be made in critical and vulnerable areas and installation of CCTVs also. Video-recording of the polling booths also should be done. Some political parties demanded the extension of Model Code of Conduct period also. The political representatives also called upon the top election officers to transfer the senior district officers who have put in two years of service in the same place. The representatives demanded the ban on sale of liquor in State Government operated shops and keep a tab on election expenditure. The polling officials should conduct a survey of all the voters.
Other demands of political parties include linking of voters’ identity with the Adhaar card. The time to include names in the voters’ list should be extended. The Chief Election Commissioner of India called upon the senior State Government officials to create awareness regarding the EVMs and VVPATs among the masses and the general public in an extensive way. He called upon the meeting to ensure the safety of politicians in the Naxal affected regions and in case of need deploy helicopters for their safe return to constituencies.