ECI gets many complaints in poll-bound Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Oct 24 (UNI) Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy today said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) had received several complaints regarding officials' role and violation of the Model Code of Conduct in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.

''The ECI will have these complaints probed and only then take any step,'' he told reporters here while not disclosing the officials' names. The CEC, election commissioners Navin B Chawla and S Y Qureshi are touring this state to take stock of preparations for the hustings.

When asked whether a complaint was received against the Chief Secretary, Mr Gopalaswamy replied in the affirmative but added that the complaint was not taken into cognisance as it did not directly pertain to the elections.

''Officials have been clearly warned to ensure that the Code of Conduct is strictly implemented,'' he added.

Replying to a question about polling in several naxalism-affected areas, the CEC said that the ECI had made proper arrangements for peaceful and impartial polling there besides deploying adequate security personnel who would begin reaching there in the next couple of days.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the process of distributing elector photo identity cards, Mr Gopalaswamy added that -- following political parties' demand -- the ECI decided to allow 13 alternatives including ration cards, passports, driving licenses and Permanent Account Number cards.

''A ban on political parties' meetings on school grounds and other government grounds has been lifted. Polling stations will be set up in Salwa Judum relief camps also,'' the CEC explained.

The ECI team arrived here this morning and also held meetings with district collectors, police superintendents, other officials and political parties' delegations. The team would return to Delhi tomorrow morning.

UNI AS-AC 2114

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