July 29, 2021 2:46:35 am
In a strong indication that Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab are set to be held on time, the Election Commission (EC) called a meeting of the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of the five states on Wednesday to kick-start the planning process.
In the meeting, the Commission stressed on the need to get the voters’ list prepared on time — a strong indication of the EC’s intention to keep poll preparations on track. The meeting is significant as it comes at a time when there has been speculation over whether there will be a delay in conducting the upcoming Assembly elections next year due to the pandemic. The Commission had also been at the receiving end of a lot of flak during the last leg of the West Bengal polls when the second wave was gaining momentum.
A press statement issued by the EC spokesperson said, “During his address, CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) Shri Sushil Chandra stressed on the significance of the purity of the electoral roll and asked the CEOs for expeditious redressal of all pending applications with regard to voter registration. He also emphasised on the need for rationalisation of polling stations keeping in view the Covid-9 pandemic and reiterated the need to have basic facilities and infrastructure in all polling stations.”
Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, the statement read, mentioned that CEOs should focus on filling up infrastructure gaps and logistics requirements, and carry out updation and purification of electoral rolls and an extensive voter education and empowerment outreach programme.
The EC is mandated to hold elections and ensure a new Assembly is in place in Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh by March 15, March 19, March 23, March 27 and May 14, 2022, respectively.