Madhya Pradesh Elections Will be Held on Time: OP Rawat
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat along with Election Commissioners Sunil Arora (L) and Ashok Lavasa (R) addressed a press conference in Bhopal on Wednesday, 29 August, 2018.
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat along with Election Commissioners Sunil Arora (L) and Ashok Lavasa (R) addressed a press conference in Bhopal on Wednesday, 29 August, 2018.(Photo: PTI)

Madhya Pradesh Elections Will be Held on Time: OP Rawat

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat Wednesday, 29 August, cleared doubts about the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections and announced that the polls will be held on time.

Rawat, accompanied by Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, was on a 2-day visit to Madhya Pradesh to review preparations for the upcoming elections. They also addressed a press conference in Bhopal on Wednesday attended by representatives of political parties, bureaucrats and senior police officers.

Hamara aana hi praman hai ki samay pe honge (We are here, which is enough evidence that the polls will be held on time).
OP Rawat as quoted by ANI

The Chief Election Commissioner also reiterated that 'One nation, one poll' was not possible until changes are made in the Constitution and law, ANI reported.

Also Read : ‘Worried About Data Breach’: CEC OP Rawat Ahead of Poll Panel Meet

While no clarity was given on the date of the elections, the CEC said that the commission will take into account festivals falling in November while deciding the schedule, The New Indian Express reported.

Some political parties have requested us to take into account the celebration of festivals like Deepawali, Amavasya and Itzema Tabligi during 23 and 26 November in Bhopal while deciding the poll schedule. The Commission has taken note of the concerns and will take into account these issues while finalizing the actual poll dates.
OP Rawat, to The New Indian Express

The CEC told reporters in Bhopal that he had asked government officers to remain impartial during the elections.

Rawat, while responding to a query on alleged participation of government officers in chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra, said that even the slightest partisan behavior would be stringently dealt with, News18 reported.

Also Read : No Chance of Simultaneous Polls, says Election Chief OP Rawat

Disabled-Friendly Polling Stations

The coming Assembly elections in four states will also witness a disabled-friendly set-up at polling stations and use of a mobile application to report electoral malpractises. Rawat said 'accessibility observers' would help differently-abled voters during elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.

For the first time, accessibility observers are going to assist physically disabled persons exercise the franchise.
OP Rawat

The Election Commission has laid a special emphasis on making the poll process accessible for all sections, especially the persons with disabilities, those who are aged or infirm, he said.

All polling premises will have sturdy ramps (which can be used by wheelchair-bound voters). A database of disabled voters is being created and such electors would be enrolled and their list shall be provided to booth-level officers so that they can be given special assistance.
OP Rawat

At least one polling station managed only by women will be set up in all 230 constituencies in the state, The Indian Express reported.

Also Read : Anti-Quota Outfit to Contest All 230 Seats in Madhya Pradesh Polls

Vigilance App to Ensure Fair Elections

The CEC also said that a Citizen Vigilance App will be operationalised to ensure free and fair elections.

Through the app, anybody can report a violation of model code of conduct or a corrupt electoral practice by a candidate by uploading a video clip of the act, he explained.

Complaints received through the app will be attended promptly, Rawat added.

A political party has complained to us that polling booths in the areas in North Madhya Pradesh, where weaker sections of society live, have been shifted to places where men with money and muscle hold sway.
OP Rawat

"We have directed the concerned officers to look into it seriously," Rawat added.

The Chief Election Commissioner also rubbished rumours that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) being imported from China and Japan.

Our EVMs come from Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited,” he said, adding that entire manufacturing process is video-graphed, and no outsider can intrude into these facilities run by Public Sector Units.

(Inputs from The New Indian Express, News18, ANI and PTI)

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