Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Monday asked poll observers to be “extra careful” during the conduct of the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections given the global interest in the largest electoral exercise to be held amid the pandemic.
According to a statement issued by the Election Commission (EC), Arora asked the poll observers to “instil confidence in the voter to come to the polling station on election day to cast her/his vote safely and freely.”
Bihar elections this time will be held over three phases as opposed to five in 2015. Apart from curtailing the poll period, the Commission has put in place several measures for poll campaigning amid the pandemic, including limits on the number of people campaigning from door to door and accompanying a candidate on the day of filing nomination.
Arora called upon the observers to assume the role of friend, philosopher and guide to the local election machinery, and guide and hand-hold them.
Monday’s meeting was a blend of virtual and physical with more than 700 general, police and expenditure observers joining virtually from 119 locations across the country and about 40 observers posted in Delhi joining in person, the statement said.
Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra pointed out that familiarisation with laid down instructions, specifically the guidelines on holding polls amid the pandemic, should be strictly adhered to. Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said officers should bear in mind they are the actual face of EC on the ground since the world is watching these polls closely.
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