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Act tough on illegal flow of liquor, cash during Lok Sabha polls: EC team to Punjab officials

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NewsDrum Desk
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Chandigarh, Apr 3 (PTI) An Election Commission team on Wednesday instructed deputy commissioners and senior police officers to widen their campaigns to prevent the smuggling of drugs, liquor and cash into Punjab during the Lok Sabha elections.

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Led by Deputy Election Commissioner Hirdesh Kumar, the Election Commission (EC) team also asked the deputy commissioners, police commissioners and senior superintendents to make the required arrangements at polling stations to ensure ease of voting for increasing the turnout.

Polling for Punjab's 13 Lok Sabha seats will be held in the last phase on June 1.

The poll panel team also directed the officials to ensure adequate arrangements for the central forces deputed in the state on security duty during the elections.

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According to an official statement, detailed information was sought from all the districts regarding liquor and drug seizures after the Model Code of Conduct came into force.

Information was also taken on the steps by districts to increase turnout, webcasting arrangements and preparations at polling stations. The team also shared suggestions and information related to the election process with all the officials.

Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C assured the EC team that the Lok Sabha elections will be conducted in a free and fair manner in the state.

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He also assured the team that all officials have been directed to strictly enforce the Model Code of Conduct and said various measures have been taken to curb the illegal smuggling of drugs and liquor.

Sibin said special attention is being laid on increasing the number of 'model polling stations' by emulating the cultural themes of the state to attract the maximum voters and making the entire experience pleasant and enriching.

Directions have been issued to further enhance facilities, including drinking water, furniture, lighting, signage, help desks and toilets, at each polling station, he said.

Sibin and the EC team also appreciated the deputy commissioner of Malerkotla for taking a unique initiative and designing a mobile application -- 'Booth Raabta' -- to provide information on the nearest police station, hospital, ambulance service, contacting the school principal/building in-charge, and providing physically challenged voters assistance.

The EC team also released three booklets on meeting the target of more than 70 per cent voter turnout, poll preparedness along with state and district profiles, and legal provisions during elections. PTI SUN SZM

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