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SEC directs Collectors, SPs to ensure free, disciplined panchayat polls in State

 State Election Commission (SEC) today directed all the officials to make preparation to ensure free, fair, impartial and organised panchayat polls across the State scheduled from February 13.

A high-level meeting presided by SEC RN Senapati was held at the State Secretariat here today to discuss the law and order situation, sitting arrangements at sensitive polling booths and implementation of the model code of conduct.

The SEC stressed making special arrangement in the sensitive regions and discussed about the training of the employees, who will be deployed for the polls.

There is a need to maintain strong vigil in the sensitive zones and arrangement should be made for sending more than 10 per cent ballot papers to all the polling booths, informed Senapati adding that emphasis must be laid on installing CCTVs in various booths in the sensitive areas. The Election Observer and Expenditure Observer will be appointed by the SEC in all the districts for smooth conduct of the polls, he said adding they will submit their report within a scheduled period, he said.

As the Collectors will have the responsibility to conduct the polls, Senapati directed them to focus on strict adherence to the model code of conduct, which is in force since Dec 27 across the State. Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, DGP KB Singh, Home Principal Secretary Asit Tripathy, Panchayatiraj Secretary DK Singh, Panchayatiraj Director Hemant Kumar Padhi, Additional DGP (law and order) BN Jha, Intelligence Director Sunil Ray, SEC Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahoo, all the RDCs, Collectors and Superintendents of Police were present during the discussion.

Notably, the panchayat polls will be held in five phases starting from February 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21.


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