CEC asks DCs, police officers to ensure free polls in HP

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Shimla, Oct 17 (UNI) Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy today directed the deputy commissioners, now returning officers of the Election Commission, and police officers to ensure free and fair polling in the state.

The returning officers have been directed to ensure free and fair polls in the state by enforcing the model code of conduct strictly, he said at a press conference here.

Mr Gopalaswamy said the state Chief Secretary and DGP have also been directed to provide vehicles whereever necessary to ensure free polling in the state, besides making adequate budgetary provision for other poll related expenses.

Besides, all vacant posts of the returning officers and other poll related officials should be filled as early as possible, he said.

He said they have also been directed to seal all border areas of the state two or three days before polling and also seek cooperation from the officers of the neighbouring states.

The commission, on its part, would also be writing to the officials of the neighbouring states to ensure that the borders were sealed, he said.

The CEC said officers who had spent three years out of the last four years in any area and officials deputed at their home districts and area should be transferred with immediate effect.

Officers who had already been transferred during the last elections should not be put on poll duty anywhere in the state, he said.

Replying to a question whether the state government had sought central paramilitary forces for elections, he said the commission was not apprehending any violence, but the government has sought central forces due to large vacancies in the police force.

Mr Gopalaswamy said the meeting with the police officers and DCs had been called to seek suggestions, complaints and their point of views for the smooth conduct of elections in the state.

UNI

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