Transfer officials serving more than 3 yrs in home towns: EC



Bangalore: The Election Commission on Saturday directed authorities in poll bound Karnataka to transfer officials serving in their home towns for more than three years to ensure "free and fair election".

"The Election Commission has directed authorities that honesty and integrity is expected from election management personnel. We will not tolerate any lapses.Commission will not compromise the basic concept of impartiality and fair poll", Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told reporters here.

He said the EC has directed authorities to transfer officials serving in their home towns for more than three years to ensure "free and fair election".

Winding up the two-day visit of the full bench of EC to the state, where election is due and the next assembly is to be constituted before June 3, 2013,he said they had interacted with political parties, top district administration officials, Home and Excise Departments and Income Tax vigilance wing.

He said the EC would issue voter identity slips ahead of the poll and also on polling day in the backdrop of complaints from some political parties over EPIC cards being taken away from voters to prevent them voting for their opponents.

The Commission would appoint police observers to manage law and order, apart from other observers, he said.

Karnataka has an electorate of 4.19 crore, of whom 98.97 percent have been given EPIC.

Sampath said some parties had requested the Commission to keep a watch on production in liquor distilleries as they are apprehensive of liquor being stored by some parties for distribution.

EC had directed Excise Department to check liquor menace and other authorities had been asked to ensure money did not play a role during the polls.

He said a vigil would also be kept on "paid news", which has become a menace.

"We are satisfied with whatever arrangements have been made by the official machinery", he said in the company of two Election Commissioners-- Dr Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi and H S Brahma.

Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha and others were also present.

Sampath declined to indicate the probable dates of poll, saying "we have to do some exercise at Delhi and we will announce it later".

PTI