CEC expresses satisfaction over poll preparedness of Telangana

Hyderabad: Chief Election Commissioner of India O P Rawat expressed satisfaction over the positive steps taken with regard to poll preparedness of Telangana State, which goes to polls on 7th December.

Addressing a press conference here today, Rawat said that, the commission had wide ranging discussions with the District Electoral Officers (DEO), SPs, Chief Secretary, and other senior officials in the state for the past two days.

The commission has also held discussions with Enforcement agencies such as Income Tax, Excise, Narcotics, and representatives of banks.

He said that the theme of this elections was “Accessible to All” and hence efforts would be made to facilitate more PWDs (people with disabilities) to exercise their vote.

He said that, the theme of this elections being “Accessible to All”, efforts were being made to increase the turnout of PwDs.

For the first time Accessibility Observers are being appointed in addition to General, Expenditure and Police observers, to make the election process accessible to all sections of the electorate, especially the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and infirm electors.

Special facilities like wheel chair, waiting area, queue assistance, ramps and escorts would be provided, to them, he said.

Rawat said that a data base of PwD voters is being created and such electors are being enrolled and mapped with Polling Stations and PwD s have been identified for providing special assistance. He said Braille ballot paper for easy readability by the visually impaired voters would be provided.

The CEC said that as per the directions of the Supreme Court, the Commission has issued directions to candidates to disclose their criminal antecedents and see that the details are publicised on at least three occasions in newspapers and television channels.

Rawat said that a close watch is being kept on violation of model code of conduct, and the commission has launched cVIGIL, an App to enable citizens to file complaints regarding election code violations. This App, meant for Android phones would be available from the date of notification.

In answer to a question on the final electoral rolls he said that they have been published and shared with political parties as statutorily required. However, he said wherever a complaint has been filed, special teams were formed to verify and rectify the problem.

He pointed out that it is the responsibility of the citizens to ensure that they enroll in their constituency, and report any changes in residence, place etc to the commission and make sure their name figures in the electoral roll.

Rawat said that, there are 2.73 crore voters in Telangana of them 1.38 crore are men and 1.35 crore women voters, besides 2663 voters of third gender. The total number of voters in Telangana have gone down from 2.82 crore in 2014 elections due to different reasons.

A total of 32,574 polling stations will be set up for Telangana elections. A novel feature of will be the all women “Polling Stations”.

The CEO said that care would be taken to see that burqua clad Muslim women voters would be assisted by women polling officials only.

Rawat said that the Commission endeavours to maintain purity of electoral rolls and conduct free and fair elections and ensure that every voter exercises his or her franchise.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Arora, Senior Deputy Commissioners Umesh Sinha and Sandeep Saxena, Deputy Commissioners Sudeep Jain and Chandra Bhushan Kumar and PIB ADG Shefali Sharan were also present.

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