The Election Commission is fully committed to delivering free, fair, transparent and inducement-free elections, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday.
A 17-member team headed by the CEC is currently in the city to assess the poll preparedness in Telangana and, as part of that, Rajiv Kumar held meetings with various stakeholders such as political parties, state and central government officials and enforcement agencies.
Speaking at a press conference summarising the team’s activities over the past three days, Rajiv Kumar said that a very loud and clear message has been given to enforcement agencies to act strictly against the use of money power during elections.
“Money power, freebies distribution would be on our special radar. If they (enforcement agencies) do not act we will make them act. As the time comes, we will assess and ensure that they act on all of this,” he told reporters adding that banks were asked to keep a watch on online cash transfers in this regard.
He said that during the interaction with political parties, they requested the Election Commission to ensure that elections in Telangana are inducement-free.
The total number of voters in Telangana is 3.17 crore, with men and women in equal numbers, he said.
“For the first time in Telangana, there would be a facility available for all our senior citizens aged 80 above to vote from the comfort of their home, if they so want,” he said adding that, similarly, persons with disabilities — those with more than 40 per cent or more disability — can also vote from home.
The CEC, who made a presentation on various aspects of election preparedness, appealed to the voters in the state to exercise their franchise.
During an interaction, the political parties requested for enhancing voter participation in urban areas and ensuring the purity of the electoral rolls, he said.
He said the number of first time voters is 8.11 lakh, whereas the number of voters who are aged above 80 is 4.43 lakh of which 7,689 are centenarians.
With inputs from News18