Multi-phase polls are here to stay: Nasim Zaidi

The Chief Election Commissioner of India puts it down to parties’ preference for Central police forces

Updated - July 08, 2017 04:46 pm IST

Published - March 10, 2017 02:02 am IST - New Delhi

Chief Election Commissioner of India Nasim Zaidi.

Chief Election Commissioner of India Nasim Zaidi.

Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC) Nasim Zaidi has said that long-drawn-out, multiple-phase elections are here to stay because of the use of Central police forces for the conduct of free and fair polls.

Speaking to The Hindu , Dr. Zaidi, looking relaxed after the end of polling in five States on Thursday, said it was the “anxiety” over the use of the State police and the preference for Central police forces by political parties, candidates and even voters that had led to this state of affairs.

To read the full interview click here

Reservations over police

“Our elections have become heavily dependent on Central forces as people have their own reservations about the State police. The Commission, therefore, over the years, has come to depend on Central police forces. Our anxiety and the anxiety of political parties that all polling stations should be covered by Central police has led to this situation. There have been examples in the past that voters too feel that to truly ensure an unafraid exercise of franchise, Central forces are required. Keeping all that in mind, there is no way out but to conduct polls in phases. Our voters have shown unprecedented enthusiasm, so they are, at least, not fatigued by the length of the poll,” he said.

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