Hyderabad, Feb 13 (PTI) Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora Wednesday reviewed the election preparedness in Telangana with state Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, Chief Secretary, DGP and other senior government officials.

He discussed the preparation of electoral rolls, law and order situation, availability of quality manpower for conducting the elections and issues related to availability of EVMs and VVPATs, an official release said.

Rajat Kumar told reporter that the Commission is very serious that properly trained and qualified officers be posted for election purposes.

As part of updating of electoral rolls, he said 27.31 lakh claims and objections have been received, of which 10 lakh had been processed.More than seven lakh are first time voters, he said.

A two-day session on training senior election officials (certification programme) began here on Wednesday.

Some of the topics covered in the programme include role and responsibility of returning officers, electoral rolls and model code of conduct.

The vacancies of posts of DEOs (District Election Officers) and ROs (Returning Officers) in the state was being attended to, he said.

Asked about the recent suspension of Collector of Vikarabad district on the recommendation of EC for allegedly unauthorisedly opening a strong room where EVMs were kept (an election petition was pending in courts on the matter), he said the DEOs (district election officers) does a lot of hard work, but the work is huge.

Electoral rolls 27.31 lakh claims and objections are there… Field verification needs to be done, digitization needs to be done, 27.31 lakh.

Even if it is done in one hour, 27 lakh hours field work is needed. Supervision is all in the hands of the DEO.

Very unfortunately …an unintentional mistake, a violation of a majorlegal provision was the material which is part of EP (election petition), that is court custody… ECI and I do not have any powers there.

Unfortunately, by mistake that was opened and the commission asked us to conduct an inquiry into that matter.

But it is not in any sense unusual,” he said.

Asked about training for election personnel at the level of BLOs as many complaints have come during the assembly polls, he said a cascading system of training is in place.

Presiding officers who handle EVMs were given three times training. Among 35,000 polling personnel, about 150-200 got confused in handling EVMs, he said.

He said human failures should not impact electoral results.

“There are many provisions. First, various checks and balances are there. VVPATs are there on EVMs. VVPAT can be counted if there is lot of doubt… So, maximum amount of training is given and many multiple levels of checks and balances are there, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.