CEOs of 5 states start West Bengal visit to monitor poll situation

Five special teams, led by Chief Electoral Officers of different states, on Friday started a five-day visit to the districts of West Bengal to undertake a comprehensive review of poll preparedness.

PTI| Updated: Mar 18, 2016, 20:41 PM IST

Kolkata: Five special teams, led by Chief Electoral Officers of different states, on Friday started a five-day visit to the districts of West Bengal to undertake a comprehensive review of poll preparedness.

Deputy CEO Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said the teams have started arriving in the districts and started working.

"They will see the overall poll preparedness till March 22," he said.

The CEOs  - VK Singh of Punjab, Anil Kumar Jha of Karnataka, Narinder Chauhan of Himachal Pradesh, Nidhi Chibber of Chhattisgarh and Dr Chandra Bhushan Kumar of Delhi - have been assigned different districts for monitoring work.

 

The teams will submit their report on March 23.

Each of the five teams will have five members comprising CEO of a state, a joint or deputy CEO, an IPS officer and two election commission officers.

The Election Commission had last night removed 37 officials, including a District Magistrate and four Superintendents of Police, following complaints from Opposition parties.

The first phase of the six-phased Assembly poll in the state will be held on April 4 and 11.

 

Today was the last day of filing nominations for the 18 seats in the districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura in the first part of first phase.

Altogether, 138 candidates have filed their papers which includes 18 from Trinamool, 11 from CPI(M), 5 from BSP, one each from CPI and Forward Bloc, 56 from other parties and 18 independents.

Another 23 candidates have however filed their papers saying they are from BJP.

"Some of them will either withdraw their candidature or their nominations will get rejected," the EC official said when asked how 23 nominees from the party have filed papers from 18 seats.

Scrutiny of papers will be done tomorrow and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is 21st.

The poll watchdog is also sending central awareness observers in each of the districts.

Headed by senior IIS officers, their task will be to monitor the overall voter awareness programs being taken by the districts.

The commission had yesterday issued showcause notices against two Trinamool Congress leaders Anubrata Mandal and Abdur Rezzak Mollah and CPI(M) MP Md Salim for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.

"We have received the replies from Mandal and Mollah which we are examining. Md Salim has yet to respond. If we don't get reply from him within the stipulated time then action will be taken according to the rules," Bhattacharya said.