The Election Commission will take up the issue of flow of liquor and drugs in areas of Haryana bordering Punjab with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora Thursday said.
“Excise Commissioners from the two the states have already held a meeting. Now, we will take up the issue with the NCB director general for better coordination,” Arora said.
He was talking to reporters after reviewing the preparations for the October 21 Haryana assembly elections. He was accompanied by election commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.
On a two-day visit, the full commission held meetings with representatives of various political parties and senior officials, including Haryana chief secretary and the state DGP.
Arora made it clear that the Commission would take strong action against any candidate seeking votes in the name of religion or caste. He said the issue was the raised by the representatives of political outfits. They were asked to give instances of such incidents to poll officials, he said, adding that during meeting, the political representatives did not give specific instance on the same. “However, if complaints are brought to my notice, we will take action”.
The CEC said that the Commission has deployed the maximum number of central forces’ companies this time for the elections. He, however, did not specify the number.
Arora said the commission has directed the officials concerned to make fool proof arrangements in sensitive and vulnerable areas of the state. He also informed that the state authorities had assured of deploying more forces and holding flag marches in vulnerable areas.
The ECI also warned the state officials concerned of taking a “very harsh action” if they were found to be partial and there was lack of neutrality on their part during the assembly elections.
He said that some political outfits had raised the issue of development projects being undertaken by the Haryana government in violation of rules. “We will get those checked and take stringent action,” he said.
Asked if national issues like abrogation of Article 370 was being used for political gains, Arora said, “The provision was scrapped by Parliament, not me or you.”
He, however, lauded Haryana for doing best work in terms of identification of voters of persons with disabilities. “10,000 to 11,000 volunteers will be deployed to facilitate the PWD voters,” he said, adding VVPAT machines would be used at at the 19578 polling booths in all 90 constituencies and webcasting would be carried out at all sensitive booths.