5-phase assembly poll in Jharkhand based on MHA, state police input: CEC
Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019: The CEC was asked what forced election commission to hold elections in five phases when home ministry on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that LWE had dipped by 45% in Jharkhand during May 2014 to April 2019.Updated: Nov 22, 2019 13:52 IST
Amid uproar of holding the assembly polls in Jharkhand in five phases, chief election commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Thursday clarified that the election schedule was made based on report of ministry of home affairs (MHA) and state police feedback on Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
“Based on intelligence inputs, state police told us during meetings that there were possibilities that LWE groups could use new tactics to obstruct poll process,” said Arora, while replying to mediapersons’ queries.
CEC was asked what forced election commission to hold elections in five phases when home ministry on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that LWE had dipped by 45% in Jharkhand during May 2014 to April 2019.
Arora replied, “I would not like to comment on which minister said what and where. We go by the facts shared by the MHA and state police. MHA in its notification issued on February 5 this year said Jharkhand’s 19 of 24 districts are affected by LWE. And, 13 of those 19 districts are most-affected by LWE.”
He said the ministry released grants of Rs 750 crore to LWE-hit districts in the country and Jharkhand was allotted maximum Rs 340 crore, followed by Chhattisgarh Rs 200 crore.
The CEC said EC officials reviewed the security concern for LWE-affected districts in the state and satisfied with the preparedness. “Adequate security forces will be deployed in all LWE-affected assembly constituencies. We hope the assembly polls would pass off peacefully like the parliamentary polls this summer,” said Arora.
On Wednesday, the election commission team — which was on a two-day visit to Jharkhand to review the state’s preparedness for assembly polls — held separate meeting with political parties and district officials, including deputy commissioners and superintendent of police. The EC on Thursday reviewed the preparedness of income tax, state excise and other agencies, besides chief secretary and director general of police.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had raised the issue of Bangladeshi migrants, who, the party suspected, could influence the poll process in four constituencies such as Pakur, Godda, Rajmahal, Mahagama.
Arora, on the issue, said, “District administrations are taking adequate measures to ensure that only eligible voters could exercise their franchise.”
On the allegation that NGOs influence voters to exercise their franchise on particular candidate or party, Arora said, “We told the officials that do not take action on just assumption. Proper examination is required.”