Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath said on Wednesday security was one of the major areas of concern for the Election Commission. The Commission had issued instructions to the Deputy Commissioners and the Superintendents of Police to intensify seizure of illegal unlicensed weapons and ensure deposition of all licensed weapons. He, however, said the election machinery was fully geared up in the State to ensure free and fair polls.

Addressing a press conference after the full Election Commission — comprising the CEC and Election Commissioners H.S. Brahma and Nasim Zaidi — met representatives of political parties and reviewed the preparedness for the Lok Sabha polls in a meeting with DCs, SPs, and senior officials, the CEC ruled out any change in Assam’s poll schedule sought by some political parties on account of Ashokastami, which falls on April 7, and the Rongali Bihu festival which will begin on April 14. The three-phase Lok Sabha polls are scheduled for April 7, April 12 and April 24.

Mr. Sampath said some political parties wanted the Election Commission to fix a timeframe for the disposal of cases pending against “D” (doubtful/disputed) voters in Assam, as the issue had been pending for long. The only competent authorities on “D” voters were tribunals, and the Commission would recommend to the State government to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases.