Just before announcement of polls, the Election Commission (EC) has got 2.15 lakh central security forces to provide security for the smooth conduct of the LS elections.
Adequate security and clarity on filing of the nomination papers are key elements for the smooth conduct of polls, dates for which are likely to be announced this week. “Almost everything has been finalised,” an EC official said after a series of meetings on Monday.
The home ministry (MHA) has told EC that it has additional 1,15,000 (1,150 companies) personnel of the Central paramilitary forces for deployment during the general elections.
“Around 1,000 companies of the paramilitary forces are deployed for security duties in Jammu & Kashmir, North-Eastern states and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas. Over and above these personnel, the ministry will provide around 1,150 companies more for elections,” said a senior ministry official requesting anonymity.
Of the forces already deployed, around 900 companies are in the LWE areas, 60 in Jammu & Kashmir and the remaining 40 in the North-eastern states. The ministry is apprehending trouble by Naxals and has instructed its forces deployed in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to be on high alert.
Moreover, with the security issue settled, the Election Commission has also issued instructions to the chief electoral officers on scrutiny of nomination papers and tightening expenditure monitoring to curb use of black money in the polls.
The commission has also directed its election officers to reject nomination papers with blank columns. “The returning officers will ensure that the affidavits on assets, liabilities and criminal record should have all details and they are put in public domain within 48 hours of filing of the nomination papers,” an EC official said.
The elections would be a mammoth exercise with deployment of about 11 million personnel, half of whom would be security personnel, including state police forces.
They would guard about 8 lakh polling stations, an increase of about 10% as compared to the 2009 polls.