Mohanty warns against poll code violation

HYDERABAD, DEC. 27. The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) does not envisage any problem in holding the civic polls in spite of the tight schedule announced by the State Election Commission. The Corporation has already done the spade work and it also enjoys the experience of conducting the Assembly and Parliamentary polls.

The MCH Commissioner, Dr. P.K. Mohanty, told presspersons here on Thursday that the MCH would be utilising the services of about 20,000 polling personnel, besides a supporting staff of 8,000 for smooth conduct of the polls. The total number of voters as on October 19, 2001, was 26,64,206, while the number of polling stations would be 3,064. The Corporation had already secured 10,000 ballot boxes. Two training classes would be held for polling personnel shortly. The Corporation had provided a provisional budget of Rs. 3.8 crores for conduct of the elections. ``We will try to economise,'' Dr. Mohanty said.

He asked all officers drafted as Returning Officers to report to him by Friday. Except medical grounds, no other request for relief from duty would be entertained. The District Collector and the MCH Commissioner were the Election Authorities. They would be supported by the Additional Election Authorities - the Joint Collectors of Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and the CRO. Mr. J.C. Sharma, Additional Commissioner, Projects and Planning, who was appointed Returning Officer for Mayor, would be relieved of normal work, Dr. Mohanty said. He said the Returning Officers for all the 100 divisions would be provided with vehicles and cellphones.

Referring to the model code of conduct, Dr. Mohanty said, its violation would be dealt with severely. The MCH would not entertain any request for sanction of works. However, normal maintenance works would continue. The construction of the new council hall at the MCH office would also go on. A decision about the weekly `Face-to-Face' programme and the city-level Coordination Committee visit would be taken shortly, Dr. Mohanty said.

He said defacing of public properties would attract action from the SEC, the MCH and the Police. The poll expenditure by candidates would be strictly monitored and no candidate would be allowed to move about in a motorcade.

As per the guidelines of the SEC, the draft list of polling stations would be published on Friday and the final list on January 7. A meeting with representatives of political parties would be held on January 3, while objections and suggestions would be received till 5 p.m on January 4.