EVEN AS speculation is rife that the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections may be held in early November, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has started a serious exercise to prepare the ground for smooth elections in the state before the onset of winter and snowfall in the tribal belt. Officials said a two-member team of the ECI, comprising Umesh Singha and Sandeep Saxena, both Deputy Election Commissioners, will reach Shimla Wednesday for a preliminary exercise including progress on revision of the electoral rolls.
The officials are slated to hold a meeting with deputy commissioners and SPs on Thursday to take complete stock of the election management drill, deployment and requirement of the forces and movement of the election material before the polling.
But a day before the meeting, which deputy commissioners will hold, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pushpendra Rajput will have a preliminary round of discussions/review with them Wednesday.
When contacted, Rajput asserted that poll preparedness in the state was “very much on track.” “We have already set a schedule for the publication of the electoral rolls on September 15. Those left out will still have an opportunity to register as voters. We are also focusing on awareness drive, apart from other things,” he said.