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Central forces to man civic poll

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 01:37 IST
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But only election panel will decide on their deployment

AFTER a lot of dilly-dallying, the Centre has finally agreed to deploy five battalions of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) for the urban local bodies poll in Uttar Pradesh. But that comes with a rider: that the force sent by the Centre will be totally at SEC’s disposal.

Union Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal conveyed the decision to state election commissioner Aparmita Prasad Singh on Thursday.

According to observers, the Centre decision to keep the CPMF totally at SEC’s disposal is obviously aimed at thwarting any attempt by the government to deploy (or not to deploy) the forces at will to suit its gameplan.

Jaiswal told Singh that the CPMF would be at the disposal of State Election Commission (SEC) and it would be the SEC that would identify and deploy paramilitary forces in sensitive and extra sensitive districts. ADG (law and order) Padman Singh and IG (law and order) Brij Lal, meanwhile, met the SEC officials to discuss the deployment of the forces during the election.

Meanwhile, campaigning for the first phase of the urban local bodies poll ended today evening. In the first phase, scheduled on October 28, 90,83,065 voters will cast their vote for election of chairmen in 167 Nagar Palika Parishads and 4425 ward members.  The first phase of poll will be held in 51 districts. In view of the Chhath festival on Saturday, the SEC has postponed election in four divisions, including Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Mirzapur. The poll in 14 districts of these divisions will be held on October 31 now.  

The SEC has set up 3274 polling centres and 3274 polling booths. While 1136 polling centres have been identified as sensitive, 1465 of them have been marked as extra sensitive.

It has directed the district magistrates of all the 51 districts to ensure that ministers, MPs and MLAs, sitting or former, leave the district before the poll. If the public representatives are voters, then they would be permitted to go to the polling booth to cast their vote. They would have to leave the district immediately thereafter. Security guards of the people’s representatives would be not allowed to enter the polling stations, SEC officials said.

The resident of the ward would be appointed as the agent of a candidate contesting for corporator post. MPs, MLAs, Ministers as well as those facing criminal cases would not be appointed as agent. The agent would not be allowed to enter the polling station along with mobile phone, they said.

Meanwhile, the SEC removed the SDM of Mohhamadabad (Ghazipur) Srinath Shukla and attached him to the divisional commissioner’s office. In-charge of Bharthana police station (Etawah) Ram Nath Singh Yadav was also removed from election duty since his family members are contesting the election. The SEC also ordered removal of Asha Ram Yadav, CO Orai, from poll duty. Yadav has been attached to the superintendent of police office.                                                      

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