TODAY -
CS reassures, poll will be free and fair
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, April 01 2009: The state Government is committed to providing the best possible security arrangements for a free, fair and peaceful conduct of the Lok Sabha elections which will be witnessed in two phases on April 16 and April 22, said Chief Secretary, Rakesh today.

On the request of the state government, the Central government has agreed to send additional Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) to the state.

So far, a total of 38 companies of CPMF had been brought into the state to assist the state force, the Chief Secretary revealed during a radio talk which was broadcast on the All India Radio, Imphal.

Security measures have been taken up in view of the prevailing law and order situation in the state and especially in view of the persisting threats and attacks being carried out by some militant outfits on the political workers.

"We are confident of overcoming the challenges," he said while calling the people of the state to exercise their franchise freely without fear.

Mention may be made that the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has decided to utilise 19,307 state security personnel to assist the 65 companies of CPMF who will be deployed at the polling stations which 554 of the total 2,193 polling stations across Manipur have been identified as hyper sensitive polling stations and 1,305 of them as sensitive.

According to the officials of the CEO's office, two sections of armed security men will be deployed at hypersensitive polling stations while one section each will be detailed at the sensitive polling stations.

He went on to say that the state government has also chalked out security arrangements for the polling as well as counting days as per instruction from the Election Commission of India (ECI) .

Tightened security measures will be taken up at the counting places on the counting days.

Except the media persons who carry identity cards issued by the authorities of the ECI and officials on election duties, others will be restricted from entry to the places while the counting is progress.

All the departments under the state government have been asked to comply with the code of conduct of the elections.

Apart from this seven election observers deputed by the ECI are looking after the election preparedness in the state, the chief secretary added.

Mention may be made that all the seven observers from the ECI are looking after the elections arrangements and processes taking up in the state for the two phases Lok Sabha poll.

On the other hand, Election Commissioner, SY Quraishi said during a press conference here yesterday that the Election Commission of India will deal appropriately with anyone who violates model code of conduct during the 15th Lok Sabha elections with "zero tolerance" and "no excuse".

He also said that on poll days, apart from general observers, micro-observers appointed by the state election authorities will be detailed to assist the general observers on the poll days.

They will be detailed at as many as 25% of the polling stations which are identified as critical polling booths.

Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, accompanied by Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla, who arrived here in Imphal yesterday left for Nagaland today after reviewing the preparations for the election being taken up by the state election authority for a smooth and fair conduct of the same.


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