ECI team to visit Tripura for reviewing poll preparation

Agartala, Mar 15: A two-member team of Election Commission of India (ECI) headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain will review the poll preparations and security related issues in the state on March 17 next.

EC delegation will hold discussions with the state election officials, including District Magistrates and police superintendents. They are also likely to have brief meeting with the political party representatives. On the way back to Delhi, the delegation may also visit two more northeast states- Assam and Manipur, officials said here today.

The ECI team will first visit West Bengal on Saturday and on the next morning they will fly down to Agartala. The political parties mainly opposition CPI (M) has complained to the ECI about violence by ruling BJP. In their complaint the CPI(M) has said that it anticipates intimidation and obstructions in the free and fair poll process in the coming days.

The CPI (M) alleged a sub-divisional office of the party was attacked in Hapania area on Thursday evening and on Wednesday night similar incidents were allegedly reported against BJP in Jirania area of eastern Agartala. At least three CPI (M) cadres have been injured in the incidents, the party said.

Meanwhile, ECI has reiterated that the political parties of Tripura should comply with the Model Code of Conduct, which came into force immediately after the announcement of poll schedule last Sunday, The returning officers have been asked to take steps to ensure free and fair elections to be held on April 11 and April 18.

The commission has advised the state election machinery to deploy the security forces considering the situation at micro level and also to act immediately on any complaint related to election to avoid escalation of tension.

West Tripura district magistrate Dr Sandeep N Mahatme said that as many as 387 big banners and posters of government advertisement with name and photographs of public representatives were removed from the West Tripura Loksabha constituency.

The political parties and government departments have been asked to get due sanction from Media Certification and Monitoring Committee for public advertisements and notification, including social media promotions, if it attracts violation of Model Code of Conduct, he said.

Separate expenditure monitoring teams were constituted with as many as 113 experts and 115 sector magistrates to ensure free and fair elections. The mobilisation of forces has begun from today besides, enhancement of security in critical locations, Mahatme added.

About 200 companies of additional central paramilitary forces will be deployed in each phase of election besides, TSR, BSF, Assam Rifles and state police. An amount of Rs 83 Cr has been estimated for holding the 17th general election in Tripura.

Two Income Tax teams have been functioning in West Tripura to prevent the flow of black money in the Lok Sabha election. One team is stationed at MBB Airport and another team at Circuit House area here. A team of Income Tax officers raided a city jewellery shop, which has showrooms in Kolkata and Mumbai, on Wednesday on a tip-off.

A separate vigilance team was mobilised with field functionaries with proper training to conduct immediate enquiry on the complaints lodged through C-Vigil apps. Apart from that 3935 government employees were pressed into election duty in West Tripura to hold the election on April 11 in the first phase of the seven phase national elections. (UNI)