Updated: March 25, 2021 5:42:01 am
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Wednesday said the Election Commission was also monitoring observers appointed in West Bengal, where the first phase of polling will be held on March 27.
At a press conference in a hotel in Siliguri in north Bengal, the CEC said the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had informed the EC about the alleged misconduct of a general observer on March 22, following which he was removed. Arora added that after verifying and examining the details the Commission decided to suspend the observer and issue directions to authorities to prepare a chargesheet against him.
“Observers are also under constant monitoring,” he said, adding that any action that could hurt the prospects of organising free and fair elections was under the Commission’s watch. The poll body has appointed 55 police observers, 209 general observers and 85 expenditure observers for the eight-phase election.
Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajib Kumar arrived in the state on Tuesday for a two-day trip to review poll preparedness. After their arrival, they met the district administration and the police of all eight north Bengal districts through video conferencing. They discussed the law-and-order situation in the region, and poll preparedness.
The CEC on Wednesday said the polling body’s only purpose in West Bengal was “hand-holding” the local administration to ensure people vote in large numbers in a secure environment.
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