Preparations on for Telangana polls: CEO

Preparations on for Telangana polls: CEO

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajath Kumar said on Friday that preparations for the Assembly polls in the state were underway, and EVMs and VVPAT machines have started arriving.

Officials were being sensitised even as the electoral list was being prepared and as many as 32,574 booth level officers would be available for addressing issues related to the voters' list, Kumar told reporters here.

He said over 52,000 ballot units, around 41,000 Central Units and 44,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were expected to reach various districts before September 20.

The CEO said that on September 15 and 16, booth level officials would be available at all polling stations to take up issues related to voters' lists.

Kumar said EVMs and VVPAT machines are vital for the successful conduct of elections, adding, "They have started arriving.

The first lot has come to Asifabad district. As per my knowledge, three or four districts have already received the EVMs. We are getting them continuously," he said.

After their arrival, a preliminary level inspection would be conducted to detect manufacturing defects, the CEO said, adding it would be done in the presence of political parties to remove doubts, if any.

According to him, the VVPATS would be used for the first time in the ensuing Assembly elections.

He said an Election Commission team was likely to visit the state again once they feel the preparedness is satisfactory.

"There are three machines-- ballot units, control units and VVPATs. We have 32,574 polling stations. As per that, they are giving 52,100 ballot units. Each ballot unit can accommodate 16 names, including NOTA.

About 40,000 to 41,000 control units and 44,000 VVPATs are coming," he said.

Kumar said the EC team during an earlier visit had reviewed the law and order situation in the state and noted that there were no major incidents of crime during the previous elections.

"By and large, as per the figures given by the DGP, there have been lesser incidents, including normal crimes, in the state," the CEO said.

Seven districts of Telangana have been identified as extremist affected by the Home Ministry, of which one - Bhadradri Kothagudem - witnesses more activity, he added.

The requirement for central para-military forces has also been discussed at a preliminary level, he said.

Noted badminton coach Gopichand and former India cricketer VVS Laxman have been roped in for a promotional film to appeal to the people to participate in voting.

A media consultant would be appointed in the CEO's office and would monitor the campaign on the social media.

The EC will work with the cybercrime department if required, he said.

On the issue of merging seven mandals of Bhadradri Kothagudem District into Andhra Pradesh, he said the Election Commission was seized of the matter and would take a decision.

After the bifurcation

of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, seven mandlas which belonged to Telangana were merged

with Andhra Pradesh as they were identified as part of

submergence area of the

Polavaram Project.

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