Post-Bastar, Congress meets EC over Chhattisgarh polls

Posted By: PTI
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Post-Bastar, Cong meets EC
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the deadly 25 May Maoist attack in Bastar, a Congress delegation on Friday met Election Commission seeking measures to ensure free and fair voting in Maoist-hit areas in Chhattisgarh, where polls are due this year.

Highlighting the natural disadvantages in the hostile and tough terrain particularly in Bastar, where a number of stretches have become a "free zone", the Congress delegation urged the EC to use advanced techniques of GPS to track the polling parties' movement and ensure their presence in polling booths located in sensitive and difficult areas.

It stressed on "real time monitoring of presence of polling booths using GPS and web-enable facility."

The delegation comprising senior leaders Motilal Vora, AICC general secretary for the state BK Hariprasad, Acting PCC chief Charan Das Mahant, Mohsina Kidwai and KC Mittal had a 30-minuted meeting with the full commission of the EC during which they raised various concerns including one related to alleged bogus voting in Naxal-hit areas.

The EC on its part said adequate central paramilitary forces were not always available to meet the challenges, sources said.

"As there is a real threat of booth capturing by Naxals and their sympathisers, a web-based hidden camera at each polling station may be installed so as to make video recording of the voters, who have actually cast their vote and data can be seamlessly transferred on real time basis on a web enabled system," the delegation said in a memorandum.

They felt that this may prevent rigging of polling booths. The delegation felt that incidents like the 25 May naxal attack on Congress leaders was a serious threat to the conduct of free and fair poll in the state.

"Keeping in view the extraordinary situation, we have to use latest technology... the route of polling personnel through alternative routes need to be devised using Google mapping so that they need not travel from the same route for to and fro journey to the polling booths," it said.


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