A team of Election Commission of India officials is scheduled to visit Telangana for three days from October 3.
The team comprising senior officials will engage with various stakeholders and assess the poll preparedness of Telangana besides interacting with the local community during the visit. Though the visit is seen as a routine one, indications are that the ECI team is coming to make a thorough assessment of Telangana’s poll preparedness ahead of announcement of the schedule for the ensuing Assembly elections.
It may be recalled that the schedule for the Assembly polls in 2018 was announced on October 6 followed by the issue of notification on November 12 and polling on December 11. The term of the current Assembly is scheduled to end on January 17.
“The team will review all aspects relating to the conduct of the election. They may set deadlines for completion of certain works which in their view are pending and also give instructions relating to measures that should be taken to bridge the gaps, if any,” a senior official told The Hindu. The Chief Electoral Officer has intensified efforts over the past few weeks to put in place the necessary measures for smooth conduct of the election and officials feel that minor works, if any, could be completed well within time.
The visit, according to the Chief Electoral Officer’s office, will start with a crucial meeting involving national and Telangana-recognised political parties as well as enforcement agencies on the first day to discuss key matters relating to upcoming Assembly elections. The focus on the second day would be the assessment of poll preparedness at the grass root level with the district election officers, superintendents/commissioners of police making detailed presentation to the ECI team on the poll preparedness.
This would be followed by an exhibition showcasing the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities on the third day. The team would also convene a crucial meeting with the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police the same day to align their efforts with the Telangana administration and the security agencies.