As Chennai gears up for the upcoming RK Nagar by polls, the Election Commission, in an unprecedented move, has ordered mass transfer of revenue officials and police. With days left for the by polls, the EC has directed the transfer of all poll-related officials up to the Assistant Returning Officers rank in the revenue side. The EC has further transferred all inspectors to the additional commissioners of the police department. The commission has also directed for the transfers of the assistant and executive engineers. EC has directed all assistant and executive engineers of the Greater Chennai Corporation, who work in areas falling under the constituency, to be shifted out till the polling process is over.
The massive transfers are considered a rare measure taken by the Commission after the review of poll preparations by the Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha in Chennai recently. Five additional observers have also been nominated to monitor unethical practices during the campaign and polling period.
On poll day all the polling stations will be covered with central forces and will have web-casting in all booths-inside and outside the booths and proceedings outside the booth can be seen by general public. Services of IAS/IPS probationers from the state will also be pressed into service.
A number of officers of the level of Tehsildars/Dy. Collectors having knowledge of Tamil language will be requisioned from neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala to strengthen Flying Squads. The Commission has issued special instructions to the effect that no government vehicle belonging to any department, political leader, Minister should be allowed to move in the constituency and vehicles should be subjected to check without any hesitation.
There will be daily press briefing of District Election Officer and Commissioner of Police to meet the media, brief them of the arrangements made, action taken in regard to complaints etc. Similarly, on a daily basis the observers of the Commission will interact with the leaders of the political parties/candidates.
(With inputs from agencies)