Delhi polls: EC appoints special expenditure observer, special police observer

New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) The Election Commission on Friday appointed former IRS officer B Murli Kumar as special expenditure observer and ex-IPS officer Mrinal Kanti Das as special police observer for the Delhi polls, a statement said.

The decision comes after the Commission held two meetings - one with Delhi's chief secretary, city police chief, city's home and finance secretaries and the second with city's chief electoral officer, district electoral officers, chief executives of local bodies, among others - to review poll preparedness.

'Das as the Special Police Observer is assigned to oversee the deployment and other security related issues,' an EC statement said.

'As special expenditure observer, Murali in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, will be supervising and monitoring the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken... against all persons or entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor and freebies etc,' it added.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said it is of prime importance that Delhi elections are conducted in a 'free, fair, peaceful, accessible and inclusive' manner.

'EC would be ready to handhold whenever required but field level officers should take swift action wherever warranted to ensure fair, just, legal and impartial elections,' the statement quoting Arora said.

Arora asked administrative officers in border districts of Delhi to ensure that adequate law and order arrangements are made, especially in the identified vulnerable polling booths so that all electors feel confident in exercising their voting rights in a secure atmosphere.

During his address in one of the meetings, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said, 'While general level of preparedness is a source of satisfaction, officers need to be extra alert to ensure that no oversight in administrative control is committed and groundwork is done regularly to handle any evolving situation.

In one of the meetings, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra cautioned the officers against any complacency in 'ensuring zero-error execution and delivering peaceful elections in Delhi'.

Elections in Delhi will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11. PTI NAB DSP DSP TDS TDS