Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar has been appointed a special observer for Varanasi seat. Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha told reporters in Lucknow that Kumar has been asked to reach Varanasi at the earliest and remain there till the electoral process is over.
Special observers are sent to sensitive states where EC apprehends problems
As part of his duties as a special observer, the 1987-batch IAS officer would keep a close watch on election- related preparedness and the electoral process. Usually, special observers are sent to sensitive states where EC apprehends problems during elections.
The decision to send Kumar as a special observer was taken after a meeting of the Election Commission in Delhi where the matter was discussed in the light of complaints by BJP and AAP. The poll body has rejected the demand of BJP to replace Varanasi Returning Officer Pranjal Yadav saying, "as of today, we do not find the action faultworthy". BJP had alleged that the RO had denied permission to the party to hold Modi's programmes in the city. Modi is pitted against AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Congress candidate Ajai Rai in Varanasi.