Candidtes under close scanner in UP | india | Hindustan Times
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Candidtes under close scanner in UP

Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said all such candidates with dubious records are being trailed by videographers in the poll bound state, reports Anil Anand.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2007 22:52 IST
Anil Anand

Candidates with criminal antecendents and in the UP Assembly fray are under the Election Commission’s close watch even as the panel has cautioned the poll officials to be alert against the possibility of communal violence as a sequel to the recent incidents in Lucknow and Kanpur.

Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said all such candidates with dubious records are being trailed by videographers in the poll bound state to keep a check on their activities. "There is nothing secret about it. It is part of the process to ensure free and fair polls,” he told media-persons here on Tuesday. The seven-phased polling in the state will start on April 7.

Significantly, Gopalaswami and the two Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and S Y Quraishi, while addressing poll observers for last three phases of elections in UP asked to them to gather advance information about the possibility of any untoward incident taking place in their respective areas. "The Commision cautioned the officials about possible communal violence. We have asked them to be extra careful and gather enough information in advance," Gopalaswami said after the meeting.

Accordingly, the poll officials have also been asked to focus on the "vulnerable" areas where people may be coerced into voting for a particular party or candidate. Preventing bogus voting in place of the absentee voters is another key area on which the EC has laid greater emphasis. "Many such names have already been removed. Steps are being taken to prevent bogus voting in place of the absentee voters,” the CEC said.

Gopalaswami refused to be drawn into a controversy when his reaction was sought on Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav holding the EC responsible for Lucknow and Kanpur incidents on account of "mass transfers" ordered by the panel. Asked whether the EC was satisfied with the security arragements, he said the situation is under control and added: "Wait and see how things move.”

The CEC also refused to comment on Yadav’s appeal to the people to vote for him to prevent his arrest.