Before wrapping up the two-day visit to the state the Election Commission of India, in a press meet at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan today, has expressed its determination and commitment to conduct a free, fair and inducement-free election in the state.
Detailing about the upcoming Assembly election at the press conference on ‘review of poll preparedness for forthcoming Assembly Elections in Tripura, the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said, the Commission has taken various measures to ensure that a free and fair election takes place. Yesterday also the ECI team had rounds of meetings with different stakeholders.
The final electoral roll has already been shared with the political parties. Total 28,13,478 electors are enrolled in the state with a gender ratio of 989. The total number of electors also include PWD – 17,297, senior citizen voters (80 plus) – over 38,039 third gender-77 and 100 plus years old voters – 679. Moreover, the Election Commission has also recorded 7995 voters between 17-18 years of age who will be provided EPIC once they complete 18 years of age.
The CEC Rajiv Kumar also informed that there will be 3328 polling stations across the state in the upcoming elections. This time the ECI has made special efforts to empower the PWD, women and senior citizens (80+) by making special arrangements for these voters. There will be 60 polling stations with only women election workers, 10 polling stations for PWDs. To give the people an enhanced voting experience with different facilities application of technology has been resorted to. The ECI has made provision of collecting votes from the home of 80 plus voters in case they opt for that PWD voters will be able to access special facilities in booth by applying through Saksham App. Wheel chair, volunteer, ramp, signage etc. will be made available for them.
The ECI is also pushing for covering last mile voters. To make the poll an inclusive experience the ECI is emphasizing on covering married women to minimize the gender gap further. Total 10,060 women have been enrolled under this category, CEC Rajiv Kumar informed. In order to ensure free and fair voting CVIGIL App has been introduced. By utilizing this App conscious citizens would be able to register a poll related complaint and on receipt of any such complaint action will be taken within 100 minutes. Further, to have informed voting KYC App containing details about the candidates will be used so that the voters could choose the right candidate. He said, it is a mandate of the Commission to reveal details of a candidate. To make the process inclusive participation of political parties and media is being emphasized on.
To ensure a secure and violence-free election adequate security forces will be deployed. CRPF will be deployed in every booth apart from other security personnel. Observers from other states will be there to monitor randomization of machines and manpower including security forces.
The ECI team has also spoken to the various enforcement agencies including, security forces, police, Airports Authority of India, Railways, narcotics department, etc. for having a fair poll. The ECI also assured of providing a level playing field to the political parties as far as election campaign is concerned. Voters’ list will be shared with all political parties and SDM level complaints will be accepted in addition to use of CVIGIL All booths will have micro-observers also. Webcasting will be arranged at different places and advertisement will be regulated through MCMC.
Social Media Cell will be operational to keep a check on fake news. Apart from the enforcement agencies, banks will be active to maintain vigil on bulk transactions. Lastly reiterating ECI’s commitment to ensure a free and fair election the CEC appealed to all voters to participate in the process.
Among others present in press conference were Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, Election Commissioner Arun Goel, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Nitesh Vyas, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Dharmendra Sharma, Director General Sheyphali B. Sharan, Deputy Election Commissioner Hirdesh Kumar, Deputy Election Commissioner Manoj Sahoo, and Chief Electoral Officer, Tripura Kiran Gitte.