Election commissioners start poll preparations with Uttar Pradesh

March 4th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, March 4 (IANS) India’s three election commissioners arrive here Wednesday evening to kickstart preparations for the general elections, beginning with Uttar Pradesh that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
Soon after they land here, Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy, accompanied by his two colleagues Navin Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi, will meet representatives of all political parties.

This will be followed Thursday morning by a larger meeting with senior officials of the state headed by the chief secretary and director general of police. All top officials of the home department, district magistrates, district police chiefs and other senior field officials involved with the election process have been told to reach Lucknow to participate in the meeting.

After another meeting with select officials, the election commissioners will address a press conference Thursday afternoon, said state chief election officer Anuj Kumar Bishnoi.

The commission’s top brass will leave for Patna on Friday morning. While Uttar Pradesh will see elections over five phases from April 16 to May 13, Bihar will conduct its polls over four days.

Sources in the Election Commission said Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, was chosen as the first stop because the commissioners were keen to see whether the electoral rolls were being updated. They also want to see the progress made on the photo electoral cards, being introduced for the first time this election.

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