LS polls: ECI urges tough action on favoritism by officials

The chief election commissioner further said that targeted interventions are needed to increase the voting percentage.

Lucknow: The Election Commission of India on Saturday directed all the district magistrates and superintendents of police to take strong action against officials, who are indulging in favouritism.

The poll body’s move comes in a bid to ensure “temptation-free (prahlohan-mukt)” Lok Sabha elections and provide a level-playing field to all the political parties.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that directions have been issued to all the DMs and SPs to ensure a level playing field for all the political parties, and to take strong action against those officials indulging in favouritism.

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“Ensure impartiality with junior officials working at cutting-edge levels for the level playing field. All the DEOs (District Election Officers) have been asked to immediately act on the complaint lodged by the political parties,” Kumar told reporters in Lucknow.

“At present, no complaint is pending and all the problems have been satisfactorily redressed,” he said.

Kumar, who was accompanied by Election Commissioner Arun Goel, also asked the officials to check cases of impersonation.

The chief election commissioner said that immediate action should be taken against people, who are involved in fraudulent activities about the election process.

“SOP for defining the size of the flag should apply equally to all. Counting of postal ballots should be held first. The movement of the EVMs should be in official vehicles, and the vehicles should be equipped with GPS tracking,” Kumar said.

“Timely delivery of EPIC and voter information slip should also be ensured,” he added.

The chief election commissioner also said that voters posted on election duty should cast their postal ballot at the voter facilitation centre.

“The names and numbers of the election observers should be made public so that it could be accessed by all,” Kumar said.

He added that a social media cell should be made at the district level for tackling fake news so that “false narratives are tackled immediately”.

The chief election commissioner further said that targeted interventions are needed to increase the voting percentage.

Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa was also present on this occasion.

The chief election commissioner was on a three-day tour to the state capital beginning February 29 to review the poll preparedness for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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