Election Commission of India delegation arrives for two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir
Election Commission of India delegation arrives for two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir

ECI holds consultations with political parties in J-K ahead of LS polls

ANI | Updated: Mar 04, 2019 21:30 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Mar 4 (ANI): A high-level delegation-led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Monday arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on a two-day visit to hold consultations with various political parties, state administration and other stakeholders ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The ECI team began its visit by meeting the representatives of various political parties in Kashmir to seek their opinion regarding the elections.
Leaders of various political parties like NC, PDP, CPI (M), Congress, BJP, INC, BSP and NPP met the ECI delegation. 
Congress delegation comprising Mohi-Ud-Din and Ali Mohammad Sagar urged the poll body to hold simultaneous polls.
Arora assured that concerns of all parties will be addressed.
The ECI team also held a marathon meeting with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, ADGP Law and Order Muneer Ahmad Khan, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, Deputy Commissioners and District Police Chiefs of Kashmir and Ladakh divisions.
 “The elections are soon going to be held to uphold the principles of democracy. The commission desires that these elections should be the most inclusive with absolute neutrality by people involved in organising them. Holding election in any part of India is a challenge because of various factors such as topography, population density, holidays, etc,” Arora said in his opening remarks.
The ECI team reviewed the state of preparedness of various departments of civil and police administration for ensuring free and fair elections. The Commission asked the state authorities to provide facilities at polling stations and ensure that voters are able to reach the stations without any fear or hindrance.
The CEC also reviewed preparedness in terms of transportation of EVMs and polling material to the booths and deployment of staff on the day of the election. The Commission asked the state authorities to mobilise people and create inducement-free and intimidation-free atmosphere by ensuring a sufficient number of security persons on the ground.
The Commission stressed the state authorities to ensure that the expenditure by candidates during the election process is monitored to prevent any illegality. “The limit of expenditure is Rs 70 lakh for Lok Sabha election and Rs 28 lakh for state assembly election,” Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said, adding that action should be taken against those indulging in inducement and illegal gratification to voters.
The Commission asked the state administration to conduct operations on EVMs and VVPATs in presence of stakeholders such as political parties and candidates to ensure transparency. “You should share location of strong-rooms with stakeholders/parties/candidates to prevent any suspicion,” Saxena said.
The ECI team left for Jammu this evening where they will be conducting a similar exercise tomorrow. In addition, the ECI team will also be meeting Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and DGP Dilbag Singh, separately. (ANI)