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State Election Commission asks cops to keep strict vigil

Kolkata: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Monday empowered the District Magistrates (DM), SDO or Executive Magistrate to impose prohibitory Section 144 at the nomination filing centres across the district if they so feel.
A senior official of the SEC told reporters that Commissioner of SEC has issued directions to the concerned officials in a bid to ensure that the nomination filing process across the state for the Panchayat polls goes on peacefully and the candidates of all political parties feel safe and secured while filing their nominations.
The filing of nominations began on Monday soon after the state SEC issued the notification for the polls. The dates for the three-phase elections are May 1, 3 and 5 respectively. The last date for filing nominations is April 9.
According to sources in the SEC, the decision came in the wake of complaints lodged by the BJP and Left Front leaders of stray incidents of trouble at the nomination centres in North Dinajpur, Bankura, Cooch Behar and others.
"We have taken prompt measures and intervened through the DM and situation has come under control." the official said. The official further maintained that the nomination forms are available online and can be downloaded from the Commissions' website.
Anuj Sharma, ADG (law and order) met Singh and intimated him about the availability of forces. On being asked about the deployment of force for the elections, the official said talks are on with the state government regarding the same.
As per the report received by SEC, nomination filing was not much on the first day. Till last reports were made available with the SEC, 17 nominations were filed for Gram Panchayat and three for Panchayat Samity in Nadia district, five for Gram Panchayat and two for Panchayat Samity in Cooch Behar.
The official informed that the SEC has done away with the system of issuing provisional caste certificates since 2013.
"The Commissioner has urged the state backward classes welfare secretary, DM and SP to expedite the process of providing original caste certificates so that no candidate suffers for not possessing the requisite certificate," he added.

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