Monday, January 9, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Statues of elephants, Maya, Indira, Rajiv to remain covered

Statues of elephants, Maya, Indira, Rajiv to remain covered

Saturday, 07 January 2012 21:49
Pioneer News Service | Lucknow

The opposition in the state gained a moral victory on Saturday as the
Election Commission has directed that all statues of Chief Minister
Mayawati and her party's poll symbol elephant will remain covered
during the election across the state.

The Commission passed a similar directive on the statues of former
prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. These too will remain
covered during the election.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, the second day of his stay
in the state capital, Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi said that
in view of the objections raised by various political parties, the
Commission found it appropriate that statues of elephants, Chief
Minister Mayawati, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi remained covered
till the elections were over.

The Chief Election Commissioner said the Commission was examining the
demand of many political parties for removal of several officers who
were allegedly biased in favour of the ruling party. "We are examining
the complaints and the role of various officers and all steps will be
taken to ensure free and fair election," he said, hinting that the
Commission may order removal of some officers after their team
returned to Delhi.

Qureshi reiterated that neutrality for all was not negotiable and
level playing field had to be provided for all. He said that the
Commission was keeping a close watch on the expenditures of candidates
during the election and 102 expenditure observers (officers from
Revenue and Incone Tax Department) had been deployed in the state.
"Besides 403 assistant expenditure observers, one for each seat, will
also be deployed," he added.

The Chief Election Commissioner disclosed that so far Rs 7.5 crore had
been seized in the state during search operations. Qureshi said that a
single window system would be introduced at district level for
obtaining permission for rally, public meeting, procession and other
poll related activities. He said that representatives of various
political parties had complained to the Commission that they faced a
lot of difficulties in obtaining permission for rally, public meeting,
procession or other activities and had to run from the pillar to post
in districts.

"Keeping in view the problems of political parties, the Commission has
decided to enforce single window system at district level from where
permission could be obtained. This will save both the time and
energy," he said.

The Chief Election Commissioner said that political parties had also
drawn the attention of the Commission towards the problem posed by
discrepencies in the voters list with the presiding officer and the
candidate's agent during voting.

"We have decided that the agents and presiding officers would be
provided same electoral roll signed by the district returining
officer," he said.

Qureshi also held a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Principal
Secretary (Home), Director General of Police and Director General,
Income Tax.

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