EC team visiting Shimla tomorrow to review arrangements

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Shimla, Nov 16 (UNI) A three-member team of Election Commission (EC) officials is arriving here today to review arrangements for the remaining 65 assembly constituencies, which will go to the polls in the second phase on December 19, official sources said.

The team, which is on a two-day visit to Shimla from tomorrow, would be led by Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla and includes Deputy Election Commissioner R Balakrishnan and Commission Secretary K F Wilfed, sources told UNI here.

The Election Commission officials would deliberate on security arrangements and other issues with the district administrative officials of Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur district on November 17 and other district officials the next day.

The sources said the Commission's secretary would also impart training to the officials and other members involved in election process on the second day of the tour.

Confirming the poll panel's visit to the state, she told UNI that the team is coming here to review the poll preparedness for the second phase of elections in the state.

The Commission has also appointed 40 observers for Himachal Pradesh to supervise the elections and have directed them to keep a strict vigil during the run up to the elections for ensuring free and fair elections.

''The officials would be discussing various issues pertaining to arrangements of assembly elections for the remaining 65 assembly seat that go for polls on December 19.'' Meanwhile, the Commission has decided to ban the use of election-related short message services (SMS) before 48 hours of polls, said official sources.

Any violation of the directive would be tracked in less than 30 minutes with the assistance of telecom companies and action would be taken against the violator, the sources added.

UNI

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