February 9, 2017 9:31:14 pm
Unlike the last Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, statues of elephants, the BSP’s poll symbol doting various parks and memorials here and in Noida, will not be under wraps this time. The statues built when Mayawati was the chief minister were covered in the 2012 Assembly polls on the orders of the election commission. To a question on the possibility of covering statues of Mayawati and elephants, Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi on Thursday said, “The Supreme Court has given directives in this connection and we have also given some guidelines in its pursuance… this issue is no more under the consideration of the commission.”
The CEC, however, did not elaborate on the directives of the apex court or poll panel guidelines in this regard. Zaidi was here to review poll preparations in the 73 seats of western Uttar Pradesh which are going to polls on Saturday in the first of the seven phased Assembly elections. To another question, Zaidi said those who had migrated from Kairana for any reason will be extended security if they take part in the polling process in their respective areas.
Stressing that representatives of various political parties and officials met the commission in the past two days in Lucknow, Zaidi said officials have been asked to give a declaration if any of their relatives is in poll fray so that a check could be maintained on them. Besides, orders have been issued to transfer within 48 hours officials who have been posted at a particular place for three years, the CEC said, adding the poll panel has summoned records of all police station in-charges and action will be taken against all those found lax.
To a question on BJP’s demand for removal of the chief secretary and the DGP of the state, he said the matter is in election commission’s knowledge. In order to check distribution of liquor to voters during elections, the excise department has set up checkposts at the inter-state borders as well as along the border with Nepal, he said, adding the commission has set up a police cell to keep tab on messages received through WhatsApp and social media.
Zaidi said those who reach the polling centre by 5 pm will be allowed to cast their votes even if it meant that the polling parties have to overstay. Also arrangements will be made to airlift any polling staff who falls ill on duty and ensure his treatment, he said.
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