EC tells UP officials to ensure fearless environment for polls

Lucknow : Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Naseem Zaidi on Monday held a long and exhaustive meeting with all District Magistrates and district police chiefs in Uttar Pradesh to discuss the coming assembly elections scheduled for early next year.

The CEC and other officials of the election panel are on a three-day visit to the state.

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In his interaction with officials of all the 75 districts in the state, Zaidi reviewed the security situation in all the assembly constituencies and urged the officials to ensure that a fearless environment is created ahead of the polls.

An official told IANS that the poll panel chief also asked the police officials to ensure that no law-breaker and criminal remains free during the polls to intimidate or disrupt the election process in any manner.

The team, comprising CEC Zaidi, Election Commissioner A.K. Joti, Deputy Election Commissioners Vijay Dev and Umesh Sinha, Director General Dilip Sharma and Director Nikhil Kumar, on Sunday met representatives of various political parties.

Political parties, including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have urged the poll panel to ensure sizeable presence of central forces during the elections, as they have no faith in the state police, which they alleged, is working at the behest of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP).