Top ECI official reviews LS poll preparedness in Telangana

Hyderabad: Nitesh Kumar Vyas, senior deputy election commissioner of India, conducted an elaborate review meeting at CEO’s office on Wednesday to ascertain the preparedness of its machinery in the State in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

While appreciating the efforts of the State Team in conducting State Assembly elections successfully, he suggested that the officials identify areas where they encountered problems recently and asked them to work out strategies to overcome them.

Telangana CEO Vikas Raj appraised him about the arrangements made so far, including the training sessions conducted for staff. He also discussed several issues with the Central EC member and sought clarifications on certain issues.

Additional CEO Lokesh Kumar, Dy CEO Satyavani, Joint CEO Sarfaraz Ahmad, Sanjay Jain (IPS), Mahesh Bhagwat (IPS), ADG & Nodal Officer for Election Expenditure and other officials also took part in the meeting.

Vyas informed the officials that ECI was coming up with updated and consolidated instructions to be followed on the issue of nominations and voting by those on election duty. He also asked them to work out the estimates on the requirement of uniformed forces and also on the budgetary requirements for the coming Lok Sabha Elections in the State.

He also advised them to clear dues of TSLA-23 immediately.

The official advised the state CEO to strengthen the IT applications and other such technology related systems for the best use of conducting elections. He advised the officials to be cautious in handling “ENCORE App”, instead of making revisions later. He appreciated the use of cameras outside the polling stations at certain locations and the deterrent effect it had.

He advised frequent meetings by CEO with enforcement agencies to keep a check on illicit movement of cash and other items. When the issue of large-scale seizures in the last Assembly elections came up for discussion, he instructed officials to make arrangements to issue receipts with all the details including the names of officers on duty, to the public for every seizure.

He advised the CEO to give sufficient publicity this time in advance on the seized items that have proper records and asked them to simplify the procedure in recollecting it by the people. In the case of the gold ornaments and metal which traders carry regularly for business transactions, he suggested the CEO team to study the procedure followed in Tamil Nadu and to emulate it.

On the issue of printing of postal ballots at district level to avoid delays in distribution, he said ECI will take decision soon. On the issue of counting of large number of postal ballots in the State, he asked officials to be flexible in allotting the counting tables instead of sticking to the standard 14 + 1 format, and asked them to set up tables for each 500 postal ballots for faster counting.