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Central agencies to monitor paid news,gratification to voters:

Press Trust of India  |  Ranchi 

Any complaint of paid or gratification to voters will be under the scanner of different central agencies, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said on Tuesday.

A team of Election Commission of India headed by Sinha met senior government official, reviewed the preparedness of the polling scheduled between November 30 and December 20 and issued necessary instructions to them.

"We discussed with officials in the state here during the last two days for the first three phases elections, reviewing details of districts and divisions where polling would be held," Sinha told a press conference here.

Giving details of the poll preparedness, he said central agencies would keep a watch on complaints of any gratification like liquor and bribe.

He added monitoring teams were also there to look into any allegations of "paid news" and would monitor social media.

On security arrangements during the elections, the Deputy Election Commissioer said meetings of central agencies, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Railways were held as Jharkhand has naxal-affected areas and central forces would be adequately provided.

Security measures like confidence building and area domination would be done, he said.

"The 2019 Lok Sabha elections were conducted peacefully in Jharkhand. I believe these elections will also be fully peaceful," he said.

He said instructions were given to the officials to continue enrollment exercise up to the nomination dates or cut-off date so that no eligible citizen is left out from the voters list.

The senior Deputy Election Commissioner said the officials were asked to launch a voter awareness campaign digitally, through websites and traditional methods.

As per new amendments made in October, he said, voters who are eighty years old or above and divyang (differently- abled) voters will be allowed to use postal ballots. They should inform the returning officers five days before nomination dates, he added.

Another amendment giving postal ballot preferences to those connected in emergency and essential services could be introduced during Delhi elections, he said.

Assured minimum facilities like water, ramp, toilets and electricity, wheelchairs and voluntaries for differently- abled voters would be provided, he said.

The senior EC official said EVM/VVPATs preparedness is completed.

The officials in the state were also asked to meet political leaders regularly and if they have any complaint they are resolved, he said.

Sinha said, voters can also call a dedicated phone number1950--to register their complaints and efforts would be made to address them within 24 hours.

Notification for the first of the five-phase elections in Jharkhand will be announced on Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 05 2019. 20:55 IST