EC appoints record number of observers for Tripura East poll
Agartala, April 22 (IANS) The Election Commission on Monday appointed former Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi as Special Observer for Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, where polling was deferred from the second (April 18) to the third (April 23) stage in view of the unconducive law and order situation, officials said here on Monday.
The EC, in an unprecedented move, has appointed six Observers including Zutshi, four Police Observers and two expenditure observers for Tuesday's balloting.
While Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti announced Zutshi's appointment, another Election Commission official here said that the poll panel had earlier appointed IAS officers Anil Kumar Singh, D.S. Gadhvi, Raja Bhaiya Prajapati, C. Murugan and Suresh Chandra Dalai as Observers.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also said that for the first time, the poll panel has also appointed three Central Police Observers in the same parliamentary constituency and a Special Central Police Observer to closely oversee the use of security forces during polling.
IPS officers Nilabh Kishore, K. Jayaraman, Subrata Gangopadhyay are the Central Police Observers while former Manipur Police chief Mrinal Kanti Das is the Special Central Police Observer.
"We have never heard that the Election Commission has appointed so many observers in any other parliamentary constituency in the country," the official told IANS.
Citing a "non-conducive security situation", following reports by the CEO, the Special Central Police Observer, Returning Officer Vikas Singh and intelligence inputs, the poll panel early last week had deferred voting to the seat.
According to a senior Tripura Police official, a record number of around 10,000 Central Para-Military Forces and Tripura State Rifles troopers and state police personnel are already posted in the mountainous constituency, reserved for tribals.