`State will have committees to assist central observers during January 28 election`

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IMPHAL, December 26: The state election department has demanded additional central security forces, not less than 300 companies for deployment along with the state forces during the January 28 state general election which will be conducted in just a single phase in all 60 Assembly segments of the state, informed the Chief Electoral Officer PC Lawmkunga during a press conference held this evening at the conference hall of the Secretariat South block.

Further addressing the conference he maintained that since the region is a militancy prone area, there have been disturbances in elections in the state in the last many decades.

He further mentioned that since all 60 constituencies will go to polls at the same day, the state would have to be extra cautious. It will also be a big challenge for the state, he added.

Further deliberating on the issue, the Chief Election Officer informed that for the smooth functioning of the general election, the election department has urged the Centre to provide adequate security forces in the state.

Meanwhile, following the announcement that voter Id cards have been made mandatory for the general election, the Chief Election Officer further informed that the state election department in co-ordination with the respective district administrations of the state has fasten the process of issuing voter Id cards to the electorate.

He further informed that out of the total 16,77270 electorate in the state, only a mere 24, 000 have been left out without their valid Voter Id cards, however the state election department will ensure to finish issuing of the remaining 24,000 voter Id cards by January 5.

Meanwhile, a separate official release of the CEO has informed that all electors who have submitted their photographs after the publication of the final rolls-2011 on January 5, 2011, that their EPICs will be issued from January 10, 2012 through electoral registration officers.

It has also urged all electorates who have not yet submitted their photographs to submit their photographs to the concerned Electoral Registration Officers on or before January 5, while duplicate EPICs can be had by depositing a sum of Rs 25 on or before January 5, 2012 and that further details can be had from the ceomanipur.nic.in website.

Meanwhile, speaking at the conference, the state Chief Election Officer further stated that since the Election model code of conduct has been imposed in the state, all intending candidates and political parties including all ministers and MLAs of the ruling coalition have been refrained from using any government properties including their allotted vehicles in any of their election campaigns.

The Chief Election Officer further informed that the election commission will further issue an official instruction for the removal of all politically motivated hoardings of all political parties and intending candidates at public places of the state and in case of failure on the part of the political parties or candidates to take removed their hoardings, the election commission will take up legal action against them.

He further urged all political parties and intending candidates to comply with the election model code of conduct which has been made available to all political parties by the ECI and ensure the smooth conduct of the January 28 single phase election in the state.

In a never seen practice of monitoring the election process in the state, the ECI will send multiple observers to the state. He further categorised the observers as general, security and financial observers.

Meanwhile, as part of its preparation, the state election commission will also maintained different committees to assist the central observers during the monitoring of the election procedure in the state.

On being asked about the steps taken up by the election commission in order to monitor the expenditure of the intending candidates for the numerous community feast and their other political campaigns as the election model code of conduct has been placed in the state, the Chief Election Officer informed that there have been no official reports of such community feast which incurs huge expenditure for the intending candidates, however there are some reports of politically motivated violence, he further acknowledge.

However, he added that the commission cannot just act based on such unofficial reports.

He further told the present media persons that after the official notification of the election informing the all intending candidates on January 4, 2012, all intending candidates will be directed to open new bank accounts for making poll related payments and expenditure which will be monitored by the central observers.

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