Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) VS Sampath will start a two-day tour of Maharashtra from today, to review the preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
|VS Sampath will begin his tour
of the state today to check the
level of preparation for the
upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Pic/PTI
Sampath will begin with a meeting involving representatives of political parties at the Sahyadri guesthouse.
This comes after National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar delivered the controversial ‘vote twice’ speech, asking mathadi workers to take advantage of multi-phase polling and vote twice for the NCP on different days, in different places.
While the exact agenda of the meeting is not known, it is likely that Sampath will be sharing the status of preparedness of the Election Commission (EC), and the steps they are taking to ensure free and fair elections with maximum voting. During the meeting, the CEC is also expected to clarify any queries that the representatives may put forth, according to sources.
Sampath will also convene a meeting with all district collectors, police chiefs and police commissioners from various cities, along with senior state government and police officials, on Friday.
He will review the preparation of the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. Sources say that after the controversial remarks of union agriculture minister, the EC is likely to take special care in order to eliminate the possibility of bogus voting by erasing indelible ink marks.
New EC norms on sensitive booths
According to the new EC norms, a booth where 90 per cent or more voting takes place, with 75 per cent of voting in favour of a particular party, will be considered a sensitive polling booth. Another norm, applicable to rural areas, states that a polling centre will be considered sensitive if previously, 20 per cent voters who have turned up are not permanent residents of that village.