8 Nov 2012

Guj polls: EC to appoint police observers & awareness observers for first time

New Delhi:(Newsonair)-Election Commission has decided to appoint ‘police observers’ and ‘Awareness observers,’ apart from regular poll observers in Gujarat. State Chief Electoral Officer Anita Karwal announced this in Gandhinagar. This is for the first time that Police Observers and Awareness Observers would be in place in the Gujarat Assembly Elections. She said that Police observers will be appointed to ensure free and fair polls, while, the awareness observers will take a stock of Election Commission’s ‘Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation’ SVEEP- programme and present a progress report. A senior IPS officer would act as a police observer to supervise the law and order situation and take care of deployment of central forces in each district.
AIR Correspondent reports that General observers are monitoring the entire election process including training of election officers, arrangements of polling booths, enforcement of Model Code of Conduct and counting of votes. Meanwhile, main political parties are busy in training their workers at booth level to mobilize the voters on polling day.
As the date of state assembly elections approaching closer, the two main political parties in Gujarat are working on the basics. Both BJP and Congress are training and equipping their workers at the polling-booth level. In 2007 Assembly elections, at least 10 seats had a victory margin of less than 1,000 votes - which means a few votes more or less per polling station could have potentially changed the result. Two seats in the state were won by margins below 100 votes. This time both BJP and Congress have booth management committees in place. Congress had formed booth-level committees through its youth wing. The parties have decided to offer incentives to workers for higher turnout. The Congress used a similar model during Mansa by-elections resulting cent per cent voting in 20 booths.

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