EC reviews polls preparedness in Nagaland
KOHIMA, MARCH 12
THE Election Commission of India today expressed satisfaction over preparedness of Nagaland for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls scheduled for April 9 next.
Deputy Election Commissioner of India, Sudhir Tripathi held series of review meetings with Chief Electoral Officer, Chief Secretary, Returning Officers, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District ROs and Superintendent of Police (SPs) here today.Briefing media-persons late evening, Tripathi said that the Election Commission is satisfied with the overall preparedness of the state even as some more things are to be completed.
He said the election machineries have been sensitized to see that the Lok Sabha polls are conducted in a free and fair manner in the state. He said that the election expenditure observers will arrive on the first day of the filing of nomination while the general observers will reach on the last day of the nominations.
Tripathi held video conferencing and telephonic conversations with the DCs & DROs and SPs of all the districts to discuss about the poll preparedness, including the security arrangements, enforcement of model code of conduct and expenditure monitoring.
He also had meeting in presence of the State Chief Electoral Officer Sentiyanger and Nagaland Commissioner and Returning Officer, Temjen Toy with the Chief Secretary Banuo Z Jamir, Director General of Police Besesayo Kezo and Home Secretary T Ao and discussed about the security arrangements.
He revealed that during the meeting with the National and State political parties, the political parties expressed apprehension on the distribution of the Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) while also requesting the Election department to ensure that the voters receive their EPIC to ensure that there is no proxy voting in the parliamentary election.
Notably, Tripathi disclosed that the Election Commission has categorized Nagaland one amongst the ‘Expenditure Sensitive’ states during the polls.
He asserted that flying squads, video surveillance team as well as parallel election expenditure accounts will be put in place throughout the state so that the elections are held in a free and fair manner without the use of money or muscle power.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Election Commissioner also revealed that for the first time the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be having None Of The Above (NOTA) options for the electorates. NOTA will be the last button after the names of the candidates, he said while clarifying that even if NOTA gets the maximum votes but since it is not a candidate but only an option, the candidate getting higher number of votes would be declared elected.
The other first time in Nagaland would be the use of EPIC, which has covered almost 99%. Nagaland is the last state to have started distributing EPIC but Nagaland and Assam will the first state in the country to use plastic EPIC, he said.
Maintaining the distribution of EPIC has already started, he expressed hope that it will be completed before the election dates.
Further, he revealed that a total of 19,305 new electorates were included after the conduct of summary revision of electoral with January 1, 2014 as the final date. Amongst the new entrants there are 7800 voters in the age group of 18 and 19 years who would be exercising their franchise for the first time from the state. He also added that during the special electoral revision camp held on Sunday, the Election office has received a total of 1894 applications from throughout the state.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Election Commissioner maintained that all the voters need to come out and participate by ethically casting their vote without being influenced by money or muscle power.