Election Commission of India
Election Commission of IndiaIANS

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will involve central agencies in monitoring the polling process across the country during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC), Rajiv Kumar, told media persons in Kolkata on Tuesday.

The CEC added that a separate portal would be opened involving all central agencies for the purpose of vigilance.

He added that a mobile application named 'C-Vigil: Citizens be Vigilant' would be introduced to enable users to report any election-related irregularities or violence promptly.

The CEC said that the full-Bench of the ECI, which was on a visit to West Bengal, had meetings with all the political parties. Sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) West Bengal said that the ECI will be taking special measures to prevent the use of black money in the elections. In order to ensure that, the Income Tax Department and the ED sleuths will also be activated, they said.

CEC Kumar said apart from complaints about the use of money and muscle power in the polls, the Bench had also received complaints that bureaucrats were not operating in a transparent and unbiased manner.

"Barring one political party, all other parties have requested for deployment of additional forces. One political party has also insisted on a single-phase election in West Bengal," he said.

He added that during the meeting with the functionaries of the state's administrative and police setup, clear instructions were given about ensuring an absolutely peaceful election.

File photo: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India Rajiv Kumar addresses a press meet regarding the constituency delimitation process, in Guwahati on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Photo: Anuwar hazarika/IANS)IANS

"Voting should be conducted in a festive mood. The higher administrative and police functionaries have been directed to convey the message to their subordinates down the line, so that all necessary steps are taken to ensure violence-free polls. If the state administration and police fail to do that, we will make them do it," CEC Kumar said during the interaction with media persons.

He also said that this time separate polling stations for women and Divyangs would be set up.

(With inputs from IANS)