Follow transparency guidelines: ECI to NE

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Agartala, Jan 15: With a view to ensuring transparency and preventing fraud votings during the polling process in the Northeastern states, the Election Commission of India (ECI) would henceforth follow a new procedure.

Referring to the ECI guidelines, Tripura Chief Secretary Shashi Prakash told the sources here today that the ECI would now adopt the application of indelible ink (a line running from top of the nail to the bottom of first joint of the left forefinger) in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

The indelible ink had been adopted recently by the ECI following certain complaints of fraud voting from different political parties, the Chief Secretary added.

He also stated that as part of transparency management, the ECI had issued detailed guidelines for video coverage of all critical events during the poll process at all vulnerable areas while digital cameras would be used in the polling booths as and when required.

He informed that a three-member commission, led by Election Commissioner Gopalaswami, would visit the state on January 17 to oversee the initial preparations for the elections and hold meetings with the state election officials and political parties.

''Considering the climatic condition, academic calendar and other ground situations, the ECI announced the date of elections and made it clear that the model code of conduct has come into force with the announcement,'' the Chief Secretary said, adding that the elections would be conducted on the basis of photo electoral rolls with reference to the final electoral rolls published on January one.

Mr Prakash, however, underlined that the commission had asked the state authorities to make video graph of all critical events in the ensuing polls to ensure free and fair elections and make it a model for the country.

He expressed satisfaction over the law and order situation in the state and informed that Central Paramilitary Forces (CMP) would be deployed in polling booths of the state and the hyper-sensitive polling stations would get at least three CMP companies.

Altogether 190 companies of the CMPs would be deployed across the state during the polling process, he added.

Meanwhile, both the state unit of the Congress and the CPI(M) expressed satisfaction over the poll preparations and ensured to give all-out support for free and fair elections in the state.

UNI

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