The State Election Commission (SEC) on Wednesday asked the Collectors and the Superintendents of Police of 29 districts to ensure free and fair conduct of the urban local body polls.
During a conference with the district heads, SEC Ajit Kumar Tripathy told the officers that the model code of conduct must not be violated at any cost. Special attention should be paid to sensitive booths and Maoist-affected districts. The Collectors and the SPs will submit a list of sensitive booths on September 2.
Since a number of festivals such as Nuakhai and Ganesh Puja will be observed before the polls, the districts have been asked to remain alert on political parties using the occasions to their advantage. Movement of candidates in sensitive areas must be smooth and safe, the commission said.
For Western Odisha, which is currently witnessing a strike over the High Court bench demand, arrangements will be made in due course, Tripathy said.
Two districts __ Ganjam and Jharsuguda __ have sought additional mobilisation of forces for the polls, the conference revealed.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra called upon the Collectors and the SPs to ensure a free and fair poll.
Home Secretary Bipin Saxena said the elections will be a test for the districts. DGP Prakash Mishra stressed on the need for special measures in the Left Wing Extremist districts.
ADG (Intelligence) Abhay said the district administration must keep a close watch on the movement of prominent political leaders during campaigning and polling in the Maoist-districts.
All their travel plans must be carefully planned and protocols must be adhered to.
The SEC also called for measures to ensure that reserved category candidates get caste certificates __ mandatory for nomination filing __ without hassles.
This year, the Commission has appointed two videographers each for NACs, three for municipalities and five for Berhampur Municipal Corporation. These videographers will record important events during the poll.