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Free and fair polls possible: Chawla

india Updated: Mar 12, 2009 16:41 IST
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Election Commission today expressed confidence on organising "free, fair and transparent" Lok Sabha elections, which is scheduled between April 16 and May 13.

"We aim for free, fair and transparent elections in the country, let alone a state.. There is no doubt about it," Chief Election Commissioner designate Navin Chawla, who is here to hold review meeting with the state's Chief Electoral Officer, told reporters.

He was answering a query on reported comments of Andhra Pradesh DGP praising the ruling Congress in that state, and whether free and fair elections were possible there under such circumstances.

Chawla assured that the EC was taking all steps to ensure free and fair elections such as video recording of required proceedings and deploying officials to monitor them.

"In the recent six state Assembly elections, we found surrogate candidates contesting as independents, using all the facilities given by the EC in good faith," he said, adding that strict action would be taken against such persons in the upcoming elections.

With a view to preventing excess use of money, Chawla said officials from the Income Tax will be posted on poll duty who will report to the EC.

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