Gujarat election 2017: EC has transferred 900 officials in the run-up to the polls to ensure “free and fair polls”. Election Commission of India has faced a lot of heat in recent times. The parties, time and again have been seen doubting its impartiality. However, the top poll body has maintained its integrity and come up with strong resolutions to conduct free and fair polls. This time, the EC has transferred 900 officials in the run-up to the polls to ensure “free and fair polls”. Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain has told media that nine hundred officials have been transferred in Gujarat – which is an all-time-high. “I do not think so many transfers have happened earlier in any election,” BB Swain said.
However, Swain refrained from commenting on a petition filed by the Congress which had requested the EC to bar three “tainted officials” who have been assigned poll duties in the elections. Filing a petition, the EC had asked Congress to relieve IPS officers Rajkumar Pandian, Abhay Chudasma and Mahendra Patel. While Pandian and Chudasma are reportedly linked to the fake encounter cases, Patel had reportedly sought ticket from the BJP to contest the Assembly polls.
Swain also refused to reveal the total number of “sensitive” or critical polling stations that have been identified for the two phases of elections that are scheduled to be held on December 9 and 14.
Meanwhile, the EC is also learnt to have advised the government not to publicise GST rate cuts on certain popular consumables. However, the commission has allowed advertisement of simplified tax procedure without mentioning any products, functionaries in the poll panel said today. “On the first draft, the EC has advised that any publicity which could influence voters should not be done. Of course, people have to be made aware of procedures so the commission has approved of that proposal,” a functionary was quoted as saying by PTI.
The commission has advised that advertisements on GST rate cuts can take place after the second phase is over on December 14. Earlier, the poll body had allowed the Centre to release the second installment of funds under the MNREGA scheme for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat with a rider that there will be “absolutely” no publicity in this regard.