West Bengal Assembly Election: Five chief electoral officers visit state to review poll situation

Kolkata: Five special teams, led by Chief Electoral Officers of different states, on Friday started a five-day visit to the districts of West Bengal to undertake a comprehensive review of poll preparedness.

Deputy CEO Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said the teams have started arriving in the districts and started working.

"They will see the overall poll preparedness till 22 March," he said.

The CEOs — V K Singh of Punjab, Anil Kumar Jha of Karnataka, Narinder Chauhan of Himachal Pradesh, Nidhi Chibber of Chhattisgarh and Dr Chandra Bhushan Kumar of Delhi — have been assigned different districts for monitoring work.

The teams will submit their report on 23 March.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Each of the five teams will have five members comprising CEO of a state, a joint or deputy CEO, an IPS officer and two election commission officers.

The Election Commission had last night removed 37 officials, including a District Magistrate and four Superintendents of Police, following complaints from Opposition parties.

The first phase of the six-phased Assembly poll in the state will be held on 4 and 11 April.

Friday was the last day of filing nominations for the 18 seats in the districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura in the first part of first phase.

Altogether, 138 candidates have filed their papers which includes 18 from Trinamool, 11 from CPM, 5 from BSP, one each from CPI and Forward Bloc, 56 from other parties and 18 independents.

Another 23 candidates have however filed their papers saying they are from BJP.

"Some of them will either withdraw their candidature or their nominations will get rejected," the EC official said when asked how 23 nominees from the party have filed papers from 18 seats.

Scrutiny of papers will be done on Saturday and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is 21 March.

The poll watchdog is also sending central awareness observers in each of the districts.
Headed by senior IIS officers, their task will be to monitor the overall voter awareness programs being taken by the districts.

The commission had on Thursday issued showcause notices against Trinamool Congress leaders Anubrata Mandal and Abdur Rezzak Mollah and CPM MP Md Salim for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.

"We have received the replies from Mandal and Mollah which we are examining. Md Salim has yet to respond. If we don't get reply from him within the stipulated time then action will be taken according to the rules," Bhattacharya said.


Updated Date: Mar 18, 2016 21:08 PM

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