GUWAHATI: The Assam government has imposed a night curfew in the State from 8 pm to 5 am in view of the surging cases of COVID-19. The night curfew will stay in effect till May 1.
In this regard, the APCC (Assam Pradesh Congress Committee) has appealed to the Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nitin Khade to allow exemption to the contesting candidates, their election agents and party workers who are on strong room duty.
In a letter to the CEO, APCC president Ripun Bora underlined that as per the provisions of the manual of the Election Commission of India (ECI), representatives of the political parties are allowed to watch/guard the strong room round the clock.
"The contesting candidates, different political parties including the Congress had deputed party workers to watch/guard the strong rooms for all 126 LACs. Accordingly, the workers are also doing the duty with valid permission from the concerned Returning Officer since March 27 till date. Similarly, as per guidelines of the ECI, the contesting candidates and his/her election agent are also allowed to visit the strong room to inspect about its safety," said Bora.
The APCC president stated that if exemption is not allowed from night curfew to the contesting candidates, their election agents or the candidates' representatives during this curfew period then it will affect the very purpose of maintaining transparency and neutrality by the ECI in the matter of safety and security of the strong rooms where the EVMs are kept.