Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami on Monday asked poll observers, deputed to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram for the coming Assembly elections, to strictly implement the Model Code of Conduct.

Addressing the 530 observers, the CEC asked them to reach the allotted constituencies on the last date of withdrawal of candidature and stay there till the end of polling. They should quickly redress complaints received from political parties and candidates.

According to the Commission, “The observers will supervise the process of election at all stages, viz. campaign, poll, counting of votes and declaration of results. They would also be supervising randomisation, preparation of electronic voting machines, training of polling personnel and conduct of voter awareness programmes.

“All observers have been advised to look into the deployment plan of Central police forces in the constituency, if any. They will also examine the process of identification of critical polling stations and monitor the process of vulnerability mapping to identify the segments vulnerable to threat and intimidation.”

They would have to ensure that the affidavits filed by candidates at the time of nomination detailing their movable/immovable assets, qualifications, convictions, and cases pending in courts, “are displayed prominently and made available for public scrutiny without loss of time.”

They would tour their constituency extensively and build confidence among weaker and disadvantaged sections. “They will constantly review execution of non-bailable warrants, recovery of illicit arms and collection of licensed arms from undesirable elements.”

Communication plan

The Commission directed all District Election Officers to prepare a comprehensive communication plan in consultation with the observers to ensure proper and effective communication on the day of polling. The 530 observers would be assisted by static micro-observers who would remain at the polling stations to observe and ensure the purity of the polling process.

While the two-phased polls in Chhattisgarh will be held on November 14 and 20, elections will be held in Madhya Pradesh on November 27, Delhi on November 29, Mizoram on December 2 and Rajasthan on December 4. Counting of votes in all the States will be taken up on December 8.