THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As seven booths in Kasaragod and Kannur Lok Sabha constituencies are all set to proceed for repolling on Sunday, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Saturday that all arrangements were in place for a free and fair election. A three-tier security system would be in place in the booths.
Meena said ‘fool-proof’ arrangements had been made, which include entrusting the security of each polling booth to a police officer in the rank of DySP and screening purdah-clad women. He said this after a meeting with State Police Chief Loknath Behera and Intelligence ADGP S Ananthakrishnan. “The issue of purdah-clad women was brought to the notice of the Election Commission by political parties,” said
“To alleviate their concern, the respective presiding officers have been given permission to appoint female assistants for screening and ensuring the identity of such women,” said the CEO. According to Meena, the assistants thus appointed could either be teachers, village officers, anganwadi teachers or booth-level officers.
When asked if the accused in the bogus voting incident could also cast votes, the CEO said, “Unless they are convicted, the accused have the right to vote.“Usually, the voting ink mark is applied on the left forefinger. But in the case of repolling, it will be applied to the left middle finger. The repolling dates were not declared in haste. People can cast votes without fear,” said the CEO.