ripura Election

Agartala, Jan 12: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday stated it is ‘committed and duty bound’ to conduct free, fair, and inducement-free elections in Tripura.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar stated the ECI has taken all arrangements to allow voters to join the ‘festival of democracy’ and if a voter faces any threat or intimidation on the day of polling, he or she will use the cVigil app to tell the election authorities.

“We had an in-depth discussion on the election process with the Chief Secretary, DGP, representatives of political parties, DMs, SPs, and enforcement agencies for two days. The election commission is committed and duty bound to conduct free, fair, violence-free and inducement-free election”, Kumar said at a press conference here. Assembly elections in Tripura are due in February-March this year.

“All political parties will have to inform the voters about criminal cases if any of their candidates”, he said.

The CEC also mentioned that each polling station will have a micro observer to ensure free and fair elections. Tripura has 3,328 polling stations. Kumar said security personnel will be engaged in poll duties on the basis of randomization to ensure impartiality.

The CEC stated there might be a three-ring security arrangement from polling stations to guarding strong rooms with CRPF manning the first layer of security. The Centre has already sent 100 companies of security personnel to Tripura for the Assembly election.

“DEOs and SPs had been requested to provide level playing ground to all the political parties during the election process”, he said, adding webcasting will be done in all the polling stations without any failure.

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Kumar, who arrived in the state on Wednesday along with two other Election Commissioners stated that the banks and RBI will keep a close eye on the movement of cash in bulk. Besides, the close vigil will also be kept at the airport.

To a specific question on the law and order situation, Kumar said, “We had detailed meetings with top security officials and central agencies. It is very reassuring and extremely reassuring. They all are on duty and serious. I am confident they will deliver. If there is any laxity or negligence, appropriate steps will be taken”.

Earlier, the full bench of ECI held separate meetings with representatives of political parties and sought their views on the election process.

CPI(M) state secretary Jitendra Choudhury said the party has submitted a memorandum before the ECI full bench urging it to take all possible steps for free and fair elections.

“A sizeable number of electors could not cast their votes after 2018 Assembly elections – be it Lok Sabha, civic bodies, and last year’s by-elections to four Assembly constituencies. We categorically urged the ECI team to ensure voters could exercise their voting right without any violence, threat, and intimidation“, he said.