SEC asks collectors, SPs to submit plans for conducting rural polls
Odishas State Election Commissioner SEC A P Padhi Saturday asked district collectors and SPs to submit their election management plans to the panel for the approaching three-tier panchayat polls scheduled to be held in five phases from February 16.
Odisha's State Election Commissioner (SEC) A P Padhi Saturday asked district collectors and SPs to submit their election management plans to the panel for the approaching three-tier panchayat polls scheduled to be held in five phases from February 16. The top official said this at a high-level meeting with the district collectors, SPs, range DIGs, revenue divisional commissioners, chief secretary, DGP, and additional chief secretaries for health and home.
The SEC wanted to know about the preparations made so far and their plans to ensure that the panchayat polls are conducted in a free and fair manner. "The meeting was held with a focus on enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines at every stage of the polling process. The officials discussed how to enforce the guidelines during the filing of nominations, scrutiny, campaigning, and counting. "We have sought opinions and suggestions of district collectors and SPs. Based on their input, we will revise our COVID guidelines," the SEC said The Commission is hopeful that district officials will give more focus on the election process as filing the nomination papers will begin from January 17.
Describing the ensuing rural polls to be held during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic as a "unique challenge", DGP SK Bansal, who attended the meeting, said the discussion was held on proper enforcement of the model code of conduct, which is in force in the state and the COVID-19 guidelines.
It was decided to appoint one nodal officer in each district to oversee the enforcement of the model code of conduct and also the COVID-19 guidelines, the DGP said. The panchayat polls will be held in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24. The counting of votes and declaration of results will be done at all the block levels on February 26, 27, and 28.
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