Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Aug 21:
State Election Commissioner (SEC) Ajit Tripathy today asked all district collectors and superintendents of police (SPs) to strictly enforce the model code of conduct during electioneering for the upcoming elections to urban local bodies (ULBs).
During a meeting with top government officials to review preparations for the polls, Tripathy also asked the collectors and SPs to keep a close watch on the law and order situation in their areas. He asked them to identify vulnerable booths in Maoist affected areas for smooth and incident-free conduct of the elections.
“We discussed a host of issues with the district collectors and police officials for the smooth conduct of election. The steps taken by them for revision and preparation of electoral rolls, besides shortage of staff to conduct the election were also discussed,” Tripathy told media persons after the meeting.
The collectors and SPs of the six districts, which have decided to boycott the polls to press the demand for a permanent bench of the High Court in western Odisha, were asked to monitor the situation closely, the SEC said. He said the government was trying to resolve the issue through talks with the agitators.
The western Odisha bandh call given by lawyers’ associations has badly affected the functioning of government offices and courts. Filing of nominations for ULB polls has also been hit as all the political parties have decided to boycott the polls. Even though the nomination process has already started from August 20, no candidates have filed nomination papers in these areas.
The meeting was attended by chief secretary JK Mohapatra, Home secretary Bipin Saxena, DGP Prakash Mishra, RDCs of the three divisions and district collectors and SPs.