Vote without fear, EC tells Gujarat

Even as violence continued in different parts of the state, the Chief Election Commissioner has asked people to go to the polling booths fearlessly.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2002 10:52 IST

On the eve of the Gujarat elections, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) JM Lyngdoh assured voters that arrangements were in place to enable them to exercise their franchise. He appealed to them to vote “freely, fairly and fearlessly”.

“The commission expects all political parties will conduct themselves in a responsible manner, check their supporters and see that things are kept under control,” Lyngdoh said.

“I also need to assure you (the electors in Gujarat) that the security forces (have been deployed) in adequate numbers and (are on) high alert to protect you while you vote,” the CEC said.

Lyngdoh told voters that besides the election machinery and the central observers, the media and the diplomatic corps will monitor the polls.

As in the Kashmir election, in Gujarat too, foreign diplomats have been given permission to observe the elections. Seventeen of them will monitor the polls. Nearly 800 passes have been issued by the EC to Indian and foreign media.

Special arrangements have been made for voters who were displaced from their homes during the communal riots.

First Published: Dec 12, 2002 00:28 IST