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EC meeting thrust on new voters, awareness

Ranchi, March 8: Deputy election commissioner of the Election Commission of India Alok Shukla was in Ranchi today to review preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.

At a meeting attended by deputy commissioners (DCs) and senior police officers at ATI, Ranchi, he said that maximum number of Form 6, used for inclusion of names in voter list, must be made available during special camps at all polling booths in the state tomorrow. The DCs, also returning officers for the elections, have been asked to complete verification of the forms within 10 days.

Stressing on the need to connect the polling booths with the EC, Shukla asked officials of the cabinet (election) department — the EC’s counterpart in Jharkhand — to arrange for micro-observers, video cameras, still cameras, web cameras. “Identify places where the voting percentage was less during the previous elections and conduct awareness drives there. Rope in self-help groups, NGOs and local artistes for generating awareness,” Shukla told the officials.

The DCs were also instructed to ensure drinking water, ramp for disabled, shades and other facilities at the booths. Arrangement should also be made for power back-up.

Pointing out that media has a huge role in creating voter awareness, he directed the DCs and electoral officials to hold press conferences on every alternative day or identify an officer to do the same or release press briefs.

He also directed the officials to keep a tab on all reports appearing in the media with a special eye on paid news.

The meeting was attended by chief electoral officer (Jharkhand) P.K. Jajoria; additional chief electoral officer K.K. Soan; IG (operations-cum-nodal officer) M.L. Meena; commissioner of South Chotanagpur K.K. Khandelwal; and joint chief election officer A.K. Rao among other senior officials of the cabinet (election) department.