The registered political parties, including the BJP and the Congress, today presented their demands before the Election Commission (EC), led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Joti, which is on a visit to the state to review the preparedness ahead of the Assembly election due later this year. The BJP demanded that the polls be held after December 14, as the period between December 5 and December 14 is considered auspicious for marriages. The ruling party also sought a relaxation in the rules pertaining to polling agents and said the EC should provide a single-window system to the candidates so that they did not have to approach multiple officials.
It also said that arrangements should be made so that the items seized by the EC before the polls were returned on time. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) voiced a demand for a random count of the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips and that it be digitally established that the VVPAT machines were working properly. The Congress also demanded that tainted officers be debarred from being deployed on election duty and that those on poll duty were made to cast their votes during their election training sessions.
It also sought that the officers concerned be prosecuted if names of voters were found missing from the voters’ list. The CEC also flagged off a mobile EVM-VVPAT Demonstration Centre, which would go to all the Assembly segments of Gandhinagar to raise awareness about the VVPAT machines.
The delegation, comprising election commissioners O P Rawat and Sunil Arora, along with around a dozen other senior officials of the poll panel, also held a meeting with the district election officers and senior police officers in Gandhinagar. They reviewed various aspects of poll management, such as the electoral roll, election management plan, polling stations, voter education and use of social media. The EC officials are scheduled to meet top officials of the state administration tomorrow as well.