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No holiday for Central staff

IT WOULD probably be for the first time that all Central Government offices in the State capital will remain open on Tuesday, the polling day for civic poll. Private vehicles will be allowed to ply with the rider that they will neither carry voters nor go near the polling booths.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 01:47 IST

IT WOULD probably be for the first time that all Central Government offices in the State capital will remain open on Tuesday, the polling day for civic poll.

Private vehicles will be allowed to ply with the rider that they will neither carry voters nor go near the polling booths.

The State Election Commission (SEC), on the directions of the Election Commission of India (ECI), issued these instructions today.

The unprecedented decision came in wake of the request of the Chief Income Tax Commissioner, who approached the ECI for its consent to keep different IT offices situated in Lucknow open on Tuesday, as it was the last day for filing returns. A similar request by the department was earlier turned down by the district magistrate.

The ECI referred the issue to the SEC with its opinion, following which the ECI today gave its consent for keeping the offices open on the polling day.

On the other hand, a senior officer of the SEC told Hindustan Times that the State Government had no power to order closure of the Central Government offices, as an order from the Central Government was needed for the same.

Though, as a matter of tradition the Central Government offices remained close on the orders of the State Government on the polling day during different elections.

The SEC has also directed HoDs of the Central Government offices to ensure that their employees did not face any problem in exercising their voting right.

They should be allowed to leave office for the purpose during working hours, the SEC said.

First Published: Oct 31, 2006 01:36 IST