Deputy Election Commissioner of India Shri Vinod Zutshi has directed officers during review of election preparations of 5 divisions to ensure strict compliance of directives of Election Commission and model code of conduct here today. At the meeting Shri Zutshi undertook division-wise review of election preparations by holding discussions with Divisional Commissioners, IGs, DIGs, Collectors and SPs of Gwalior, Chambal, Sagar, Narmadapuram and Bhopal divisions. Chief Electoral Officer Shri Jaideep Govind, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Shri V.L. Kantarao, Additional DGP Shri Sarabjit Singh, IG (Law & Order) Sushri Sonali Mishra, Joint Chief Electoral Officer Shri S.S. Bansal and other officers were also present on the occasion.
Shri Vinod Zutshi directed to minutely study and implement the updated directives of the commission. He said that prompt action should be taken on complaints about violation of model code of conduct. In case of doubt, guidance should be sought from Chief Electoral Office and Election Commission. All teams including flying squads in districts should be activated for examining incidents of violation of code of conduct.
A calendar of training of district presiding officers should be chalked out. Before nomination process, one more training should be imparted to all returning officers and assistant returning officers so that they can been apprised of latest Supreme Court decisions and commission’s directives regarding them.
Shri Zutshi also directed to strictly enforce Prevention of deforming to Public Property Act. He informed that commission’s observers will soon reach districts and start work there. One General Observer will be appointed for every constituency. Similarly, One Expenses Observer will be appointed on every 2-3 constituencies. Police Observers will also be appointed in some districts. All of them will start arriving with the date of notification and will reach their respective areas till last date of nomination.
Shri Vinod Zutshi sought information about posting of officers at the same place for 3 years or home district from officers by undertaking minute review. He said that if such officers and employees have not been shifted from some district, they should be immediately relieved with intimation to the Chief Electoral Officer and state government.
He also held discussion with collectors regarding complaints received in districts regarding violation of model code of conduct. He directed collectors to take a meeting of printers regarding printing of publicity material, apprise them about legal provisions and direct them to comply with them.
Shri Zutshi advised collectors to adopt equal attitude towards all political parties and hold regular meeting with them. He informed that work to monitor election expenses will be started after issuance of election notification. Strict action should be ensured in cases of illegal liquor. It should also be ensured whether it is being used for bribing/enticing or not. He informed that for the first time, “NOTA” (None of the Above) button will be included in EVMs in ensuing Vidhan Sabha elections. He said that the commission has issued directives that candidates should fill up all columns of affidavit fully.
Shri Zutshi also held discussions with officers on security arrangements at critical and sensitive polling booths and directed to chalk out an action plan for security there. He asked the offices to ensure concrete security arrangements at districts situated on inter-state border. He directed police officers to ensure better security at check-posts in all districts.
Chief Electoral Officer Shri Jaideep Govind directed officers to ensure action on posting of officers at the same place for 3 years or home district as per directives issued earlier. He directed officers to ensure speedy action in preventive action and serving of warrants. Collectors of 21 districts attending the meeting informed that sector magistrates have started tours following promulgation of model code of conduct. Sector magistrates have prepared lists of musclemen in their respective areas who harass voters. Strict watch on them will be maintained. Lists of harassed and afraid people have also been prepared. These will be counselled to participate in electoral process. Collectors and SPs also informed about law & order situation in districts. Sushri Sonali Mishra, Shri S.S. Bansal etc. also spoke on the occasion. At the meeting, Divisional Commissioners, IGs, DIGs, District Collectors and SPs gave detailed information about election preparations.
Shri Vinod Zutshi will hold at review meeting of Ujjain division at Indore on October 10 at 10 am. He will also review preparations in Indore division at 2 pm.