Be visible, accessible, ethical: CEC to observers
New Delhi, Jan. 14 (PTI): Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Friday asked observers, who will be deployed for assembly polls in five states, to be visible, accessible, neutral and ethical while functioning as the eyes and ears of the Election Commission.
He also told expenditure observers to sharpen their skills and be innovative in countering newer methods being used to induce voters.
Chandra made these remarks while addressing general, police and expenditure observers to be deployed in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur during the elections.
Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar cautioned that even stray instances of human errors by polling personnel abd non-compliance of Covid protocols at polling material distribution centres can create a “deviant narrative and derail the smooth conduct of elections”.
According to an EC statement, Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, while acknowledging that conducting elections amidst COVID-19 was a challenging task, exhorted the designated observers to ensure that a level-playing field is maintained for all political parties and candidates.
Over 1,400 officials attended the briefing, with 140 officials attending it in person here and the rest connecting virtually.
Officers drawn from IAS, IPS, IRS and other accounts services across the country are deployed as general, police and expenditure observers.
In his address, Chandra asked the observers to work in coordination with enforcement agencies.
Kumar reminded the observers that they are always under strict and microscopic scrutiny by stakeholders and thus should be careful and discreet about their own behaviour and conduct during the election process.
He said observers are representatives of the commission and must be acutely aware and cognisant of this sacred and onerous duty entrusted upon them.