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EC’s micro observers to monitor polling booths in UP

Finding it difficult to deploy a large number of Central force in Uttar Pradesh during the next general elections,the Election Commission of India has decided to appoint micro observers at every polling booth in the state — unlike the last Assembly elections.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
January 14, 2009 2:32:22 am

Finding it difficult to deploy a large number of Central force in Uttar Pradesh during the next general elections,the Election Commission of India has decided to appoint micro observers at every polling booth in the state — unlike the last Assembly elections.

To appoint the micro observers,who will monitor the electoral process at every booth,the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has already asked District Election Officers (DEOs) to send a list of the people who could be assigned for the work.

According to the directive issued by the EC,retired officers of both the state and the central government,serving officer of the Government of India (GoI),members of both the National Service Scheme and the Bharat Scouts (Range-rs and Reserved) can be appointed as micro observers. Members of the NCC senior wing can be also deployed for maintenance of discipline and order during the polling.

“The micro observers will not be deployed in their own assembly segment,but they can,however,be deployed within their own district,” an official of the EC said.

The EC has asked the state CEOs to identify such persons and preparethem for the job in advance.

“We have sent a letter to the DEOs,asking them to identify such persons who are eager for the job,” the official said.

The DEOs would also identify a nodal officer to facilitate the exercise of selection of micro observers. The name and designation,office and residential address,telephone numbers,including mobile number and e-mail ID,if any,of the nodal officer shall be mentioned in the district election management plan.

The micro observers would undergo training and will be paid Rs 500 for their work on the polling day. The Election Commission will make arrangement for their transport and food on the day of their duty.

Since UP has about 1.28 lakhs polling booths,selection of micro observers in the state poses a challenge. “The situation here is different from other states where the EC has experimented with the idea of using micro observers. Since their job is to ensure the implementation of rules and regulations at the polling booth,no retired officer wants to do this job voluntarily,” a source in the EC said.

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