Sunday, April 21, 2024

Gearing up for polls: Collector emphasises strict adherence to rules

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District Collector Ravi Pattanshetty affirmed the stringent enforcement of rules and regulations as soon as the election schedule is unveiled. Addressing a workshop titled ‘General Elections-2024 and Media Rights’ at the Collectorate meeting hall on Wednesday, he underscored the pivotal role of adherence to the Election Commission’s regulations, code of conduct, and mechanisms for addressing violations.
Speaking to the gathering, Collector Pattanshetty elucidated various facets of the electoral process, including the Code of Conduct, procedures for lodging complaints, the role of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), and initiatives like C-Whistle and Suvidha. Stressing the significance of media participation in ensuring fair elections, he emphasised the importance of media personnel being well-versed in electoral protocols.
Highlighting the electoral landscape in Anakapalli district, the Collector revealed that the region boasts 12,28,635 eligible voters distributed across 1,529 polling stations.
Infrastructure preparations for the upcoming elections include provisions for webcasting, videography, and ensuring essential amenities such as electricity, water, furniture, and ramps for voters with disabilities at polling booths. To oversee the conduct of elections meticulously, various teams including flying squads, static surveillance units, video surveillance teams, accounting teams, and observers for monitoring candidates’ expenses have been constituted across constituencies. Additionally, comprehensive training programmes have been conducted for election returning officers and staff to ensure seamless execution.
In response to complaints of violations of the election code of conduct, special departments have been established to address grievances from political entities, candidates, and media organisations. Moreover, a dedicated department has been tasked with processing applications received through the Suvidha app and offline channels for conducting election-related activities such as meetings and rallies, while adhering to the code of conduct.
The Collector emphasised the pivotal role of MCMC in certifying audio and video content used in election campaigns, as well as scrutinising advertisements and identifying instances of paid news. Regarding security measures, the Collector disclosed the identification of 330 problematic polling centres in the district, with plans for advanced security arrangements by Central police forces.

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