The Election Commission of India (ECI) has found nothing amiss in the tours of IAS, IPS and IFS officers on the behest of the Madhya Pradesh government to take stock of the situation in villages due to crop damage during the kharif season in the backdrop of the upcoming by-elections at Ratlam Lok Sabha constituency and Dewas assembly segment.
The Congress had complained to the ECI about the tours, saying that they would influence the upcoming by-polls in the state.
Also, it had demanded the transfer of Jhabua collector Aruna Gupta on the grounds that she was biased towards the ruling party — a decision on this is still pending at the ECI.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, joint chief electoral officer SS Bansal said the ECI held that the tours by officials to assess crop damage are part of their regular administrative work.
Bansal said all arrangements are in place for the upcoming by-polls at Ratlam and Dewas, where a total of 253 sector magistrates have been appointed, in addition to 268 police mobile units.
A total of 42 check posts have been set up to check movement of illicit liquor, and central paramilitary forces would be deployed to guard strong rooms where the EVMs would be kept.
So far, 11 illegal firearms have been seized, while 2,742 others have been deposited with the police.
Polling would be held from 7 am to 5 pm on November 21.
When asked why elections in the Maihar assembly segment are not being held along with Ratlam and Dewas, SS Bansal said the ECI was informed about the vacancy in the assembly but a decision on the date was yet to be taken
No of polling booths for by-polls