Updated: January 14, 2022 9:15:09 pm
The Election Commission on Friday organized a meeting for over 1,400 observers to be deployed for the upcoming assembly elections in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
“While stressing on the commission’s zero tolerance towards abuse of money power or any kind of inducements, the CEC urged expenditure observers to sharpen their skills and be innovative in countering newer methods of inducement,” the election watchdog said in a statement.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra told the observers to be visible, accessible, neutral and ethical, and cautioned expenditure observers to sharpen their skills and be innovative in countering newer methods being used to induce voters.
The schedule for the assembly elections was announced on January 8.
Officers drawn from IAS, IPS, IRS and other services across the country are deployed as general, police and expenditure observers.
Addressing the observers–140 officials of whom were attending the meeting physically at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi–Chandra said that observers are the commission’s eyes and ears and should be in total command to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent and safe elections.
Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar cautioned that even stray instances of human errors by polling personnel and non-compliance of Covid protocols at polling material distribution centres can create a “deviant narrative and derail the smooth conduct of elections”.
And Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, while acknowledging that conducting elections amid the pandemic was a challenging task, exhorted the observers to ensure that a level playing field is maintained for all political parties and candidates.
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