Madurai

‘Deal with poll code violations firmly’

Collector V. Vishnu inspects the counting centre at Government Engineering College in Palayamkottai on Monday.   | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Even as all-out efforts are being made to ensure free and fair polling during the Assembly election on April 6, the Returning Officers have been instructed to file complaints against all poll code violations without any fear or favour, District Collector V. Vishnu has said.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday after inspecting Government Engineering College, the counting centre for the votes to be polled all 5 Assembly segments in the district, the administration had made various arrangements to conduct the Assembly election in free and fair manner with the cooperation of all stakeholders. The round-the-clock election control room could be reached through 1800 425 8373, WhatsApp number 83002 71237 for registering complaints or alerting the officials about election model code violations, if any.

The static surveillance teams and the flying squads have so far seized 29 liquor bottles, 64 dhotis, unaccounted cash of ₹ 1.25 lakh, 7.70 kg silver even as 8 poll code violation cases have been registered so far, Mr. Vishnu said adding that 13,441 posters, banners and wall graffiti were removed after the poll notification.

“The Returning Officers of all Assembly segments have been instructed to book the poll code violators in unbiased manner,” the Collector said.

When asked about the case registered against the Congress functionaries in connection with the reception accorded here recently to the party leader Rahul Gandhi Commissioner of Police, Tirunelveli City, T.S. Anbu, who accompanied the Collector, said violators affiliated to any political party would be booked in an impartial manner as similar case had been booked against the BJP cadre also for violation of poll code when they took out bike rally recently.

“Based on the inputs being provided by the static surveillance teams and the flying squads and subsequent complaints, we’ll register cases of poll code violation,” Mr. Anbu said.

Mr. Vishnu said 1,924 polling stations, including 309 vulnerable polling stations, were ready, ready for polling. Following the First Level Checking, 3,229 ballot units, 2,416 control, 2,563 VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) in the presence of political parties, the Electronic Voting Machines are ready. After the nomination is completed, the exact number of EVMs required for polling can be arrived at.

“If we have to use more number of EVMs, we’re prepared to source the machines,” the Collector said.

Informing that training for 157 zonal officers had been completed, the polling personnel, who are not compelled to accept the poll duty against their genuine problems, had been advised to vaccinate against COVID-19.

On the postal ballots allowed by the Election Commission of India for the differently abled and the senior citizens above the age of 80, the Returning Officers have been instructed to give Form 12D to those voters.

Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan said the paramilitary forces were being deployed along with the policemen as part of the security arrangements with more companies arriving in phases.

“Though no new check-posts have been created as part of the election security arrangements, we’ll resort to such measures also if the situation warrants,” Mr. Manivannan said.

Mr. Vishnu said work on preparing the counting centre would commence on Tuesday (March 9) even as all polling material had been kept ready.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vishnu and the senior officials participated in a voter awareness cycle rally on Monday.

After leading the voter awareness cycle rally taken-out from Florence Swainson Higher Secondary School for the Hearing Impaired opposite Palayamkottai Central Prison to the Collectorate, Mr. Vishnu administered cent per cent polling pledge to the first time voters and others at the Collectorate premises.

He also demonstrated the casting of votes in the Electronic Voting Machine and confirming their choice of candidate in the VVPAT.

Corporation Commissioner G. Kannan, District Revenue Officer A. Perumal, Assistant Collector (Training) Alarmelmangai, Deputy Collector (Training) Mahalakshmi, officials, students and volunteers participated in the rally.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 5:09:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/deal-with-poll-code-violations-firmly/article34019844.ece

Next Story