The National Green Tribunal has sent a notice to the State Election Commission (SEC), asking it to appear before it on April 10 to explain why it has issued an order allowing the use of loudspeakers for civic polls campaign while Board examinations were on.
When contacted, State Election Commissioner Susanta Ranjan Upadhyaya said: “I know the use of loudspeakers is prohibited three days prior to the beginning of Boards, till the exams end. But leaders from different parties have requested me that they be allowed to do so as they cannot campaign for the municipal elections.”
“To this, I had said that loudspeakers could be used after April 2 — after the examination ends — at a distance of at least 200 m from a school and the volume should be kept low. Now that we have got the notice, we will put forward our views. We will have to abide by the decision of the tribunal,” he added.
While elections to KMC will be held on April 18, the municipalities across the state will vote on April 25. While Madhayamik, Higher Secondary and ICSE exams will be over by then, CBSE Class XII exams will continue till April 20.
Asked about deployment of Central forces for the civic polls, Upadhyaya said he has asked for 50 companies for KMC polls and 100 for the municipal elections.
However, the state government is yet to reply to his letters regarding this.
“I have written to the state government specifically saying that areas with one to three polling stations will need two armed policeman… In case of areas with four or more polling stations, one officer of assistant sub-inspector rank and four armed policemen will be needed. Two unarmed policemen will also have to be deployed at all booths,” Upadhyaya said.