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Stop booth capturing in UP, WB: Jaitely urges EC

Stop booth capturing in UP, WB: Jaitely urges EC
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Stop Booth Capturing in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal: Arun Jaitely Urges EC. BJP leader Arun Jaitley called on the Election Commission and urged it take immediate measures to stop booth-capturing in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

New Delhi: BJP leader Arun Jaitley called on the Election Commission and urged it take immediate measures to stop booth-capturing in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Jaitley urged the Election that for the remaining two phases of polling, the Election Commission should deploy as many micro-observers as possible, drawing upon non-governmental functionaries such as from banks, LIC etc. who have apolitical demeanour and not subservient or loyal to the party in power.

The Election is understood to have promised to take measures in this regard. The Election Commission stated that it will look to the agents of all candidates to bring it to their notice any attempts at booth-capturing.

The BJP leader blamed the party in power of ensuring the absence of polling agents belonging to Opposition parties. It is understood that there are certain instructions whereby the agents are prohibited from leaving the booths after 3 pm. In certain places this rule has been misused to the advantage of the ruling party by not allowing such agents to return to the booths once they leave the booths at any time of the day. He suggested that the EC should introduce a logging procedure by which the movements of agents will be recorded throughout the day. The observers should also be asked to be vigilant or such malpractices.

Arun Jaitley suggested that since the remaining phases are only two and the forces deployed in the earlier phases may still be available, the Election Commission could provide para-military forces in all the booths and if this was not possible to saturate maximum number of booths in trouble some areas with para-military forces. “We also insist on undisrupted continuous video-recording and provisioning of CCTV cameras in all booths. Past experience shows that video recording was stopped even in the forenoon,” he said.

The local administration, he said, tended to deploy local civil police, Home Guards and the like on more sensitive duties. Not to speak of Home Guards, the UP Government even went in for the deployment of non-militant staff such as part-time teachers (Shiksha Mitras) on sensitive poll duties. The objective, strangely enough, was to dilute the intimidatory effectiveness of the uniformed ranks on the psyche of goons engaged by the party in power, to spread terror such that illegal tasks of booth-capturing and impersonation or voters could be facilitated.

It may consequently be desirable if the District Magistrate Returning OfficerElection Observer hold simultaneous consultation with all contesting candidates and draw up a list acceptable to most, if not all the candidates, he added.

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