Chandigarh, Oct 8 (PTI) In view of the Baroda by-election in Haryana next month, the state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Anurag Agarwal on Thursday directed the officers of Sonipat district administration to closely monitor any movement of liquor, drugs or cash in the district and take prompt action if any such matter is reported.
Agarwal gave these directions while presiding over a meeting with the officers of Sonipat district administration through videoconferencing to ensure the Baroda by-elections are conducted in a peaceful, transparent and safe manner, an official statement said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Agarwal said the Election Commission has come out with a set of new instructions seeking to make the procedure to opt for postal ballot more convenient for those above 80 years of age and people with disabilities.
The form required to opt for the postal ballot would be delivered at the residence of all those above 80 years of age and people with disabilities by the booth level officer under their polling station, the EC had said recently.
Agarwal said the Returning Officer should identify such voters. Also, those who want to use postal ballot paper or come to the polling station to vote, all necessary arrangements should be made in both the cases.
He directed officials to ensure all polling stations are verified well in advance in the presence of the Supervisory Officer and also to ensure all polling stations have basic facilities like internet, electricity, water and toilets.
He said compliance of all COVID-19 guidelines such as wearing face masks, keeping social distancing and maintaining hand hygiene should be ensured for containment of COVID-19 infection.
About the revised guidelines related to star campaigners by the Election Commission owing to the pandemic, Agarwal said the maximum limit of number of such campaigners for recognised national and state political parties shall be 30 in place of 40 and for unrecognised registered political parties it shall be 15 in place of 20.
During the meeting, the Chief Electoral Officer directed the officials to promptly dispose complaints received on c-VIGIL app.
Through the c-VIGIL mobile app, the Election Commission has given the common man a power similar to that of an election observer, as they can lodge complaints of violation of model code of conduct, which will serve as an important link between the citizens and the Commission and can also help in making the by-elections fair, clean and transparent, the CEO pointed out.
The bypoll for the Baroda assembly seat in Sonipat, which was necessitated due to the demise of Congress MLA Shri Krishan Hooda in April, is to be held on November 3 and the counting of votes is to be undertaken on November 10. PTI SUN HDA