New Delhi, Feb 4:
The Election Commission has appointed the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka as the special observer for Friday’s Raja Sabha polls in Odisha. The Commission has appointed special observers for three other states- Andhra Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal which will elect 14 Rajya Sabha members the same day.
Whil there are six Rajya Sabha seats to be filled up in Andhra Pradesh and four in Odisha, Assam and West Bengal will elect three and five Rajya Sabha members respectively.
The Commission has appointed one special observer for each of these states to keep a close watch on electoral malpractices, including horse trading and the role of money power.
While the CEO of Gujarat will be the special observer for Andhra Pradesh, the CEO of Tripura will be special observer for the state of Assam, Chief Electoral Officer and CEO, Uttar Pradesh for the state of West Bengal.
However, the Chief Electoral Officers of the respective states will be observers in their own states.
The special observers will keep constant watch on the news and media reports related to the election to the Upper House and in case they come across any electoral malpractices, they will bring it to the notice of the Commission, sources said.
The Commission has also directed Director Investigation (Income Tax) of the concerned states to keep a strict vigil over use money power or undue pressures by any party to swing votes in their favour.
Sources in the Commission said the appointment of special observers fro Rajya Sabha polls had become necessary in view of the Jharkhand experience in 2012 when the biennial poll had to be cancelled after a cash-for-votes scam came to light with recovery of a huge amount of cash allegedly meant for distribution among MLAs to get their votes.