From a Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 14: In a bid to take stock of the preparedness of the State for the Assembly election scheduled early next year, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), along with two Election Commissioners from the Election Commission of India (ECI), will soon arrive here.
Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar, who is in the city, told reporters on Thursday that the ECI team comprising CEC and Election Commissioners will soon visit the State after the electoral process in Gujarat gets over.
Kumar said preparatory arrangements and identification of polling teams are going on in full swing. He mentioned that the Election Commission of India will take a call on the date of elections after taking into consideration issues like security mobilization and festivals, among others.
Meanwhile, Kumar held discussions with political parties, besides Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police.
During the meeting, political parties raised issues pertaining to voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and demanded that the State Election Commission should take measures to dissemite information about the VVPATs, which will be used for the first time in Meghalaya.
The ECI official also exuded confidence stating that there will be no room for any doubt about electronic voting machines (EVMs) after the incorporation of VVPAT in the entire electoral process.
Responding to a question on the duration of timing for VVPAT to print slips, Kumar said: “Time and number of voters will not be a problem as Election Commission has already taken a call that a polling station in urban area should not have more than 1,400 voters, whereas the number of voters is restricted to 1,200 in polling stations in rural areas.”
He also informed the media that the number of polling stations in the State has been increased to 3,082, which will be an increase of 597 polling stations since the 2013 Assembly election.
When asked about certain polling stations being vulnerable to the man-animal conflict, Kumar said: “The South West Garo Hills and West Garo Hills district administrations have geared up to resolve the issue. Forest department would also be roped in to address the issue.”
Meanwhile, the ECI official also asserted that even private companies are bound to allow their employees to cast their votes during the Assembly polls.