Political parties briefed on electoral processes

Political parties briefed on electoral processes

A one-day workshop to orient political parties in Telangana regarding the aspects of the electoral process for the Lok Sabha elections was inaugurated by Chief Electoral Officer Dr. Rajat Kumar on Wednesday.

Hyderabad: A one-day workshop to orient political parties in Telangana regarding the aspects of the electoral process for the Lok Sabha elections was inaugurated by Chief Electoral Officer Dr. Rajat Kumar on Wednesday.

In his address, Dr Rajat Kumar welcomed the representatives and senior leaders from political parties participating in the workshop and added that suggestions and recommendations submitted during the discussions would be given due consideration.

He also to appealed to the political parties to follow the Model Code of Conduct and highlighted the enormous efforts undertaken by the Election Commission to ensure the successful conduct of the elections in the state.

The CEO pointed out that the chief aim of the exercise, organized during the period of filing nominations, was to provide much needed clarity regarding various aspects of the electoral process including the guidelines mandated by the ECI. He requested political parties to direct their candidates to take care while filling their nomination forms cautioned them not to leave any column blank.

The workshop was divided into 5 sections – EVM-VVPATS, IT initiatives such as Suvidha and c-Vigil, law and order measures by the police, initiatives by the excise department to tighten monitoring the sale of liquor and an explanation of the nomination process. Each section involved a question-and-answer session where the doubts expressed by political representatives were clarified after adequate discussion.

Additional CEO Buddhprakash Jyoti reviewed the functioning of the EVM-VVPATS machines and explained several measures built in to prevent tampering such as its stand-alone nature and self-checking mechanisms. He placed emphasis on the special features in the machines to prevent manipulation or hacking.

Joint CEO Amarapali Kata highlighted the various voter-facilitation platforms such as the 1950 helpline number which is manned round the clock; the 'Naa Vote' smartphone application that can be used for checking EPIC and polling-station details and also allows persons with disabilities to register for a 'pick-up and drop' service from their doorstep to the polling booth; the number 9223166166 to which the public can send SMS messages to verify their voting details.

Kata also spoke about the C-Vigil application that empowers citizens to register complaints about violations of the Model Code of Conduct and see action initiated within 100 minutes of the registration of the complaint.

State police nodal officer Jitender, additional DIG-law and order, Telangana Police, explained the measures to ensure security of the candidates and general law and order situation at every level starting from the polling booth. He noted that security for candidates would be provided only after a thorough review and no armed guards would be allowed along with the candidate into the polling booth.

Regarding seizures of cash, the additional DIG pointed out that care was taken by the police not to disrupt daily course of life and business and seizures were made only when the source and the carrier were suspect. With political parties campaigning in full swing, he added that MCC violations such as using loudspeakers after 10 PM and taking out rallies without permission would be dealt with according to the law.

Principal Secretary, Excise, Somesh Kumar pointed out the various initiatives to monitor the sale and consumption of liquor that included installing CCTV cameras at breweries and wine-shops, regular inspection and increased inter-border coordination. He added that there were 340 mobile teams, 14 mobile patrols, 19 checkposts among other measures taken to tighten the flow of liquor into the state.

GHMC additional commissioner Musharraf clarified doubts regarding the nomination process including the time allowed to candidates to rectify errors in their nomination papers. He also provided a quick checklist, for the benefit of the participants, of the important details that had to be kept in mind while submitting their nomination papers.

The participants are as follows: From Bahujan Samaj Party -M Sidhartha Phooley, Serolla Allanna and B. Sanjeev Kumar; From Communist Party of India-Palla Venkat Redd, EJ Narsimha and Dr D Sudhakar; From the Communist Party of India ( Marxist)-N Narsimha Reddy, DG Narsimha Rao and D Sures; From Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee-G Niranjan, P Rajesh Kumar, Marri Shashidhar Reddy, P Rajesh Kuma and A Shyam Mohan; From Telugu Desam Party- Ravula Chandrashekhar Reddy, Gandham Gurumurthy and Botla Srinivas.

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