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Election Commission to visit Uttar Pradesh next week

Monday 26 March 2007

Special Correspondent

It will take stock of security measures for the Assembly elections

67,000 paramilitary force personnel will be deployed More special observers to be appointed

NEW DELHI: The three-member Election Commission has planned to visit Uttar Pradesh next week to take stock of the security arrangements for the Assembly elections.

The visit follows a series of steps, including the replacement of the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police, to ensure that the arrangements for the seven-phase elections are foolproof. Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy and the two Election Commissioners, Navin Chawla and Y.S. Quraishi, will review with senior civil and police officials the poll arrangements particularly for the first phase, which will be held on April 7 and will cover 62 constituencies. The team will visit Kanpur on Monday and Agra on Wednesday.

According to Commission sources, over 67,000 Central paramilitary force personnel will be deployed for each phase. The first batch of 5,000 paramilitary personnel will reach their duty stations on Monday for area domination, flag marches and other confidence-building measures. The rest will reach their posts on April 2 and 3.

The Commission has also decided to appoint more special observers. There will be one special observer for each phase. The panel has appointed Raymond Peter to oversee the elections in the first phase, N. Sivasailam for the second phase, Sudhir Rakesh for the third and Satyamurthy for the fourth. The remaining will be appointed soon.

The panel has approached the Railway Board for running special trains for the movement of the security forces. The State administration has already lined up 2,200 buses for the transport of security personnel to the districts, the sources added.

The Commission has obtained a list of persons enjoying security cover provided by the State Government and against whom criminal cases are pending to ensure that they did not in anyway intimidate the voters. As per the list, about 1,400 persons enjoy security cover and of them several faced criminal charges.

Situation reviewed

The team reviewed the security situation in nine States bordering Uttar Pradesh last week to ensure that there was no cross-State movement of criminals.

See online : The Hindu

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