Patna: Aiming to increase voter turnout in
the coming Assembly polls in Bihar, the Election Commission
has planned to rope in a popular personality to publicise
about exercising voting rights, as Indian cricket captain M S
Dhoni had done for Jharkhand.
Dhoni`s role in leading the publicity drive for Jharkhand
Assembly polls last year was a great success as the voter
turnout had risen significantly, Chief Election Commissioner
(CEC) S Y Qureshi said here today.
Stating that the EC has the same plan for Bihar, Qureshi
asked mediapersons to suggest names who could be brand
ambassador for the Commission in the state.
The CEC, however, evaded questions on prospective dates
for the Bihar polls and, in a lighter vein, again asked the
mediapersons to suggest the dates.
He said it did not matter in how many phases the polls
would be completed, but the EC was concerned with only one
thing -- free and fair polls in a peaceful manner.
Qureshi also expressed concern over the possible misuse
of money power in the election by parties and candidates.
Besides a mandatory guideline, the EC has taken a slew
of measures like day-to-day expenses of candidates to be
monitored by district poll officials, appointment of central
observers for the specific purpose, video surveillance on
candidates/ parties, and deployment of micro observers to keep
a tab on the expenses, he said.
On publication of paid news for campaigning, Qureshi said
it could be brought under control if various stakeholders
wanted to end the malpractice.
Over the deployment of central para-military forces on
all polling booths as desired by the parties, he said such
deployment would depend on their availability.