No laxity in performing tasks: CEC to Delhi poll observers
Tuesday - January 14, 2020 9:33 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Tuesday told election observers in a briefing here to follow the Commission's guideline during the Delhi Assembly elections due on February 8, warning "no laxity" should be there in performing assigned tasks.His direction came during the Election Commission's meeting for observers to be deployed for the polls. More than 150 officers drawn from IAS, IPS, Indian Revenue Service and other Central Services were called.It was decided that "adequate" number of officers would be deployed on actual duty. Addressing the observers, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora advised them to "maintain close coordination with officers' teams deputed in the field and remain accessible at all times. He asked them to follow Commission's guidelines and adhere to code of ethics with no laxity at all in performing assigned tasks". He asked the observers to ensure assured minimum facilities at all polling booths. Despite the fact that infrastructure in national capital is better than many places in the hinterland, Arora asked the observers to visit the polling booths to check due facilitation to senior citizens, persons with disabilities and women voters to ensure Commission's commitment to the principle of inclusive elections. He reiterated that the Commission shall not "tolerate any wilful lapses". Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa emphasized the significance of the role of observers. Wherever critical interventions are required to ensure that no lapses, even of the smallest nature, cause disruption in the electoral process, Lavasa said the officers should attend to it promptly."Familiarisation with laid down instructions and attention to specific details of additional facilities being initiated in Delhi elections, such as Absentee Voter Facilitation to essential services categories, 80+ aged voters as also marked PwDs; QR code reader on Photo Voter Slips, would aid efficacy of observers assigned the duty."He advised officers to be proactive to redress complaints and ensure impartiality while discharging their duties. Speaking to the group, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra drew the attention of the officers that as observers they have a statutory duty to perform on behalf of Election Commission of India. The 70-member Delhi Assembly will go to the polls on February 8. The results will be declared on February 11.The AAP had defeated BJP in 2015 and the saffron party has been itching to wrest power. The high-profile elections matter all the more to the BJP, which has in recent times been losing in various Assembly elections.In the outgoing Assembly, the AAP had won 67 seats which came down to 62 after five of its legislators were disqualified. It lost one more seat in a bypoll after the sitting AAP legislator quit on getting elected to the Punjab Assembly.For the BJP, which has been out of the driver's seat since 1998, it looks like disappointment is in store yet again. In 2015, the BJP managed to win just three seats and later won a bypoll, taking its tally to four.The Congress, which failed to win even a single seat in 2015, can look to win no more than three seats in the current scenario, if the results of the survey are any indication.