They will hold discussions with political parties
A delegation from the Election Commission of India (ECI) will arrive in the State on January 21 for a three-day visit ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls.
The three-member team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain will take stock of the preparations for the elections.
On January 21, the delegation will hold one-on-one discussions with representatives of recognised national parties and State political parties in Thiruvananthapuram.
The ECI team will also hold discussions with the Chief Secretary, State Police Chief, Chief Electoral Officer, Home Secretary, and the Secretary, Health. A major point of discussion will be the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the ECI. In Thiruvananthapuram, the delegation will also meet representatives of enforcement agencies, including the Excise, Police, Sale Tax and Customs.
The team will visit Kannur on January 22 and hold discussions with the District Collector and the District Police Chief.
On the afternoon of the same day, the officials will visit Ernakulam for a videoconference with Collectors and District Police Chiefs.
The team is also scheduled to visit Alappuzha on January 23. “The ECI team will take stock of the situation and assess our preparations for the elections, especially with regard to COVID-19 guidelines, during the visit to the State,” Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said.
The feedback from the District Collectors that it is advisable to hold the elections in two phases given the COVID-19 situation is likely to be presented before the ECI team. This time, voters above 80 and people with disabilities will be issued postal ballots.
Moreover, at least 15,000 auxiliary polling stations will have to be set up as each polling station will accommodate only a maximum of 1,000 voters.
This will also call for additional manpower in terms of both polling officials and security personnel.
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