Bhubaneswar, January 20: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday directed the Director General of Police (DGP) Police to ensure strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines while filing nomination papers by candidates for the upcoming three-tier Panchayat Elections in the State.
In a letter to DGP Sunil Kumar Bansal, SEC Secretary RN Sahu said that the Commission has laid down COVID-19 guidelines for strict enforcement at different stages of the election process.
“There was threadbare discussion in the conference of Collectors’ and Superintendents of Police on January 15, 2022 where it was decided to strictly enforce the guidelines,” he said.
As per the instructions of the Commission, DSP rank officers have also been appointed as Covid Observers in different Districts, said Sahu.
“Now the nomination process is going on from January 17 to 21, 2022. It is being seen that people are gathering in large numbers for filing of nominations and are holding public meetings which contravenes the guidelines,” the Secretary mentioned.
“A large number of candidates are expected to file nominations on the last day tomorrow, i.e. January 21, 2012. The Commission hereby directs that necessary instructions shall be issued to all SPs, including Covid Observers, to ensure that large gatherings do not take place for filing nominations and holding meetings in public places,” said Sahu.
As per the guidelines, either the candidate or one proposer can enter the Election Officer’s office maintaining proper social distance while filing the nomination papers. Only one vehicle is allowed for the purpose of filing nomination.