New Delhi: As the high stake electoral battle in Varanasi nears, the Election Commission on Tuesday said it has taken a plethora of measures, including deployment of additional forces and video recording of the polling exercise to ensure free and fair voting on May 12.
"We have discussed various issues relating to Varanasi in detail and the Election Commission has directed to take all possible measures to ensure free and fair polling," Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutsi told reporters here.
Election in Varanasi constituency has generated much heat as the BJP Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi is contesting from the seat. He is pitted against AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and Congress` Ajay Rai.
Zutsi said security has been strengthened in Varanasi. "We have sent additional forces in advance. Security arrangements are adequate in Varanasi," he said adding that after tomorrow`s phase more personnel will reach the areas witnessing polling on May 12 in the last phase.
As per EC directives, polling booths will have micro observers also.
Asked about the complaints lodged by Prashant Bhushan about AAP supporters being harassed in Amethi, Zutsi said the EC has sought reports from the district authorities there and next step will be taken after getting the report.
EC has also agreed to deploy micro observers in booths.
"We have told Bhushan to ask his candidate (Biswas) to submit `worry list` of booths where he feared problems and steps will be taken accordingly."
However, Zutsi said as per the EC guidelines, except voters and candidates, others have been told to vacate constituency 48 hours before polling.
"Campaigners should not remain in constituency because campaigning is not allowed during 48 hours prior to polling," he said.
He was briefing reporters on the additional steps taken by the EC to ensure free and fair polls in the last two phases to be held on May 7 and 12.