Election Commission of India reviews preparedness for Assam Assembly polls



The Election Commission of India (ECI) reviewed the poll preparedness for the Assam Assembly elections on Monday.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora chaired the review meetings in the presence of Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar at Tezpur and later in Guwahati.

The Commission met the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other senior officers of all districts going to the polls in the first and second phase of the elections, including nodal officers of the enforcement agencies.

A specific review of COVID-19 arrangements was done with Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua and the state director general of police Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta.

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Chief Election Commissioner Arora directed all the officials to ensure that elections in Assam are conducted in a peaceful, free, fair and safe manner with a high voter turnout.

Arora reiterated that they had associated special general and police observers with the randomisation of State and Central armed police forces to decide the election security plan.

Election commissioner Chandra asked the departments to expedite seizures and establish money trail linkages related to election expenditure.

He also directed investigative agencies to exercise better coordination and collaboration of data to improve search-and-seize operations.

Election Commissioner Kumar asked all the agencies to keep vigil even after the three-phase election was over in Assam, as West Bengal would still have elections.

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“The border check posts need to be functioning strictly, till the election results, to deter any illegal goods transfer /crossings across the state borders,” he emphasised.

Special General Observer S. Srinivasan apprised the Commission of the overall status of preparedness in the state, and Special Police Observer Ashok Kumar summarised the security measures put in place to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.

Meanwhile, Special Expenditure Observer Neena Nigam apprised the ECI of seizures worth Rs 80 crore (as against Rs 16 crore in the previous elections) resulting from the efforts of flying squads and static surveillance teams working round the clock to ensure free and fair elections in the state.

Assam will go to the elections in three phases, with polls due on March 27, April 1 and April 6, 2021, for the 126 Assembly constituencies across 33,530 polling stations covering over 2.33 crore electors.

(Edited by Andre Kongri)