Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Election Dept keeping watch on Garo Hills situation

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: With the Assembly elections approaching fast, the State Election Department has apprised the Election Commission about the prevailing law and order situation in Garo Hills.

Informing this here on Thursday, the Chief Electoral Officer P Naik said, “We will watch the situation and steps will be taken accordingly to ensure a free and fair election.”

According to him, the election department would also deploy additional forces if the situation demands.

However, the Chief Electoral Officer said, “The responsibility of conducting peaceful elections lies with the state police.”

It may be mentioned that the law and order situation has deteriorated in Garo Hills in the recent past with militants carrying out attacks on politicians and security personnel.

Reacting to a query on possible election date, he said that the five-year tenure of the present Assembly will end on March 10 and therefore election will have to be conducted before that.

No upgraded EVMs: When asked about the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) demand for use of upgraded EVMs, Naik said, “There is nothing like upgraded EVMs as only a printer is attached to the EVM so that voters get an acknowledgment slip after casting his or her vote.”

He further added that only the Election Commission of India can take a decision in case any changes are to be made in the EVMs.

The UDP had urged the Election Commission to revert back to the old ballot system if new upgraded EVMs are not introduced in next year’s Assembly polls in the state stating that the current machines could be easily tampered with.

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