Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi on Thursday clarified that no directions from either the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) or a proposal from the State government were received towards the relaxation of the Model Code of Conduct in the four coastal districts.
The AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday requested the Election Commission of India to relax the Model Code of Conduct in four coastal districts to enable the State government to take precautionary steps in view of Cyclone Fani's threat there.
It is reported that he had written to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora explaining that the Cyclone Fani was likely to hit the coast between north coastal Andhra Pradesh. He said that the four coastal districts of East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam have to be kept on high alert.
This was necessary so that official machinery and the ministers concerned could work effectively to keep the effects of Cyclone Fani to the minimum and provide the necessary support to the people of the affected areas, the Chief Minister had said.
The CEO clarified that no such directions were received from either the Election Commission or the CEC. He said that if any such directives were given they would be implemented. However, he also stated that it was clearly explained in the Election Commission rulebook as to how a government should function during times of calamities and natural disasters.
Gopal Krishna Dwivedi also informed that orders were sent to the cyclone affected areas to ensure that the EVMs are safeguarded in the strong room. Election officials have been asked to take effective measures to see that the EVMs do not get wet and the same has been communicated to the respective district Collectors as well.
The windows, doors and the roof tops of the strong rooms in Srikakulam and Vizainagaram have been sealed with three layers of plastic covers, he explained. The CEC also said that the strong rooms chosen were insulated to handle heavy gails, rains and fire mishaps .He also assured that the candidates need not worry about the EVMs safety as they were protected in the strong rooms.
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