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EC may remove poll officials in case of dereliction of duty, no show-cause notice to be issued

EC may remove poll officials in case of dereliction of duty, no show-cause notice to be issued

Kolkata: Determined to conduct free and fair Assembly elections in the state, Deputy Election Commissioner in charge of West Bengal Sudeep Jain indicated in a meeting with senior government officials on Thursday that the Commission might straightway remove poll officials in case of dereliction of duties.

"The Commission might not wait for serving a show-cause notice and seeking reply but officers who are found to be negligent towards their duties may be removed immediately if the Commission has enough evidence of his non-performance," a senior official in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said.

Jain held a meeting with Home Secretary HK Dwivedi, DG Virendra and ADG (Law & Order) Gyanwant Singh and has sought regular law and order reports. He also made it clear that the Commission wants to fast track execution of non-bailable arrest warrants.

Jain also laid special emphasis on having a foolproof Covid management protocol during the elections. He told state Principal Secretary (Education) Manish Jain and Principal Secretary (Health) Narayan Swaroop Nigam that the state will need more schools and colleges this year with the plan to have 28,000 additional booths.

"There are a number of schools in North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas that have suffered damages due to Super Cyclone Amphan in May last year but have not been repaired yet. The state government has been asked to do the needful," the official added.

The Commission has also sought a blueprint on vaccination from the state Health department to ensure that the election process is not hampered amidst Covid vaccination.

The Commission is also trying to ensure that some categories of people can vote through postal ballots as part of the Covid management. The categories include people who are above 80 years of age, those suffering from Covid and people who are in quarantine and the physically challenged.

As per plans on the day of notification, field-level officers will go to houses and give form 12D for consent and then on any day from the last day of nomination and a day before the polls, one election officer will go and give form 13A where the person will cast the vote and seal it. The entire process will be videographed.

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