Borders of election-bound states to be sealed

The international as well as domestic borders of all election-bound states would be sealed to check the smuggling of arms, Deputy Election Commissioner of India Vinod Zutshi said.

Agartala: The international as well as domestic borders of all election-bound states would be sealed to check the smuggling of arms and the movement of anti-social elements during electioneering, Deputy Election Commissioner of India Vinod Zutshi said here on Thursday.

He said: "To seal the borders effectively, adequate paramilitary troopers and other security forces would be deployed along the both international and domestic boundaries."

"Supply of illegal arms, explosives, hard cash, liquor and engagement of anti-socials would be checked to a large extent if the boundaries of poll-bound states were sealed," Zutshi told reporters.

He said that the election commission has already taken ample initiatives to seal election-bound Gujarat`s borders with Pakistan, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Zutshi who was here on Wednesday, held a series of meetings with five national political parties, including the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the main opposition Congress, and met all the eight district magistrates and superintendents of police, besides acting Chief Secretary KV Satyanarayana and top police officials, to review poll preparations.

The EC official said that the Assembly Elections in three northeastern states -- Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland -- would be held in time and new assemblies would be constituted before the expiry of their existing terms.

The terms of the assemblies of these states expire on March 10, March 16 and March 26 respectively.

The Assembly Elections in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland, which have 60 seats each -- are scheduled for February next year.

"The Election Commission would distribute photograph-affixed voter slips (PAVS) at the residences of all voters. The Booth Level Officers (BLO) would give out PAVS at the doorsteps of voters," Zutshi said.

According to the official, the PAVS would also be used as the identity proof document of all the voters as it will have the signature and valid stamp of the electoral officer concerned.

The slips are likely to reach the homes of voters a couple of days before the elections.

He also said that the Election Commission has taken all out steps to prepare error free electoral rolls.

"If any eligible voter is left out of the voters` list, he or she can enrol their name at any time," Zutshi said.

To a question about pre-poll terrorism by the separatist outfits in Tripura, the Deputy EC said that ample security arrangements would be taken so that people do not feel insecure.

"Intimidation of voters by terrorists is a cause for concern," the official said, adding that all district police chiefs have been asked to prepare a vulnerability map to take precautionary measures.

The full Election Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath will visit Tripura early next month.