Election Commission takes stock of preparations for Delhi
The Election Commission on Thursday reviewed the preparedness of various agencies ahead of the assembly polls in Delhi, with the city police top brass expressing confidence that it is fully geared for the electoral exercise.
Officials aware of the deliberations said the Delhi Police top brass was of the view that law and order situation in the national capital was well under control and that the force was prepared for the elections.
Earlier this month, the city saw protests opposing the amended Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens turn violent at various places.
The term of the 70-member Delhi assembly ends on February 22 next year.
With board examinations beginning from February 15, the EC is likely to complete the election process before that.
A statement issued by the commission said district election officers, DCPs, joint commissioners of police, chairman of NDMC, MCD commissioner and CEO of Delhi Cantonment Board and nodal officers of various enforcement agencies attended the meeting.
The commission also held a separate meeting with the chief secretary and the police commissioner of Delhi.
Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa directed election officials to respond promptly on the complaints received through cVigil application and pay attention on the EVM/VVPAT training.
Congress sets up panel to shortlist candidates
Gearing up for the Delhi Assembly elections slated early next year, the Congress on Thursday set up a screening committee to shortlist candidates, making Rajeev Satav as the head of the panel.
The party said its interim chief Sonia Gandhi has approved the screening committee whose members are Virender Singh Rathore and Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy.
The official statement also said that PC Chacko, AICC in-charge for Delhi, Delhi PCC chief Subhash Chopra and AICC secretary Kuljit Singh Nagra are the ex officio members of the screening committee.
The Congress is upbeat in taking on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and has cited failures of the Delhi government on several key policy fronts.
The Congress scored a nil in the previous assembly polls in the capital.
Without Sheila Dikshit, Cong no challenge for AAP: Rai
The ruling AAP in Delhi feels that the Congress could pose no challenge to it following the demise of three-time chief minister Sheila Diksit.
"The Congress stands nowhere after Dikshit's death," senior AAP leader Gopal Rai told IANS after the Election Commission held a series of meetings here on Thursday.
"We don't consider the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a challenge, because despite its claims, it neither has a chief ministerial face nor any agenda for the elections," Rai said and added, the AAP was fully geared up for the Assembly polls on the basis of its work.
On the AAP's poll readiness, Rai said, "We are prepared at every level — campaigning, organising or motivating booth level workers. Our work in the last five years will be the poll plank."
On the election campaign strategy, he said it had already started and was spread over various phases.
"We started the Jan Samwad Yatra in September. We had dialogues with different communities in the second phase of the yatra. In the third phase, all our MLAs and office-bearers met booth-level workers. It was the first phase of our election campaign."
The AAP on Thursday launched a door-to-door campaign in which details of the Arvind Kejriwal government's work would be shared with 35 lakh families of Delhi. "It will continue till January 7," he said.
We don't need an alliance with Congress, says Rai
On the possible alliance with the Congress, as tried earlier during the Lok Sabha elections, he said, "The Lok Sabha and The Vidhan Sabha elections are different. We explored alliance with the Congress because the situation was different.
"Now looking at the kind of work the AAP government has done. We are sure to return with a thumping majority of 68 plus seats. That's why we don't need any alliance," he said and added, the party would like the poll panel to announce election dates as soon as possible"
-with inputs from PTI and IANS