GUWAHATI: The Parliamentary election in Assam will be conducted under the strict surveillance of the Election Commission of India (ECI) with “live webcasting and videography recording” to be carried out at certain critical and the hyper-sensitive polling stations across the State. This was informed by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Assam, Mukesh Chandra Sahu while addressing media here on Monday.
Sahu said that “a new concept has been introduced this time. Political candidates will have to fill up the C1 form where he/she will have to mention of any criminal case against him. In the same form, candidates will have to mention details about their assets and liabilities. In case candidates possess property outside India they have mentioned the details in the form. “They will have to publish such details thrice each in the print and electronic media during the elections campaigns. The move aims at maintaining transparency about candidates’ backgrounds,” Sahu said. Candidates will also have to inform about their criminal details to their respective political parties. The parties will have to display such information on their websites and submit the details to the Election Commission.
Adding that “mapping of the vulnerable polling stations is a continuous process”, Sahu pointed out, “till date 1,913 polling stations have been identified as critical while 3,663 such stations have been marked as hyper-sensitive”.
Elaborating the subject, CEO Sahu said there are few parameters for identification of the ‘critical polling stations’. “Accordingly the critical polling stations (as per the parameters) will be those where more than 90% polling recorded during the last election, a single politician secured over 75% of votes and the polling stations which reported violence during the last elections. On the other hand, polling stations are marked as ‘hyper-sensitive’ based on a number of factors that include the following their locations in either the communally sensitive zones, or in the insurgency-prone, border and remote areas.”
On the requirement of security personnel for carrying out the poll process in the State, he said, “Discussion is still on. We’ll share the information with the Election Commission once it is finalized.”
Replying to a query on whether those left out of the complete draft NRC would be able to exercise their franchise, Sahu said, “Voters having their names in the photo electoral roll will be able to cast their votes.”
With respect to the Model Code of Conduct, Sahu said: The Model Code of Conduct came into force immediately after the announcement of the general elections by the Chief Election Commissioner in New Delhi on Sunday. Flying squads have already been mobilized to check any violation of the Code. Besides, ‘Static Surveillance Teams’ and ‘Video Surveillance Team” have also been pressed into service for the purpose.
Expenditure of candidates will be strictly monitored, he stated, adding, “The Election Commission of India will depute ‘Expenditure Observers’. Moreover, General Observers and Police Observers will also be deputed to the State. The Micro Observers will help the General Observers to maintain vigilance on the expenditure of candidates.”
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