CHINIOT

The Election Commission failed to make foolproof and effective arrangements for the 'not-so-far-clear' upcoming local bodies elections and the aspiring candidates confronted with multiple problems.

The poor management of the process of submission of nomination papers have not only exposed the tall claims but also the indifference on the part of the authority concerned.

As per details, the Returning Office staff has asked the candidates to submit their nomination paper by using photo copies, saying that the District Election Commission has not provided sufficient nomination papers. Moreover, Returning Officer for Chiniot Municipal Committee was absent from his office and some clerks of the Municipal Committee made up for his absence and received nomination papers from the aspiring candidates without issuing any receipt of the nominations. The staff also stopped receiving nomination papers at 4:00pm, saying the official time was over.

Local politicians and candidates have expressed concern over the indifference of the ECP and its poor arrangements for the local bodies elections. They argued that it appeared the government was 'filling the blanks' as appointment of election returning officers from among the administrative officers was tantamount to fraud in the name of elections. They asserted that how could the people expect free, fair and transparent LG elections from the Punjab government which had exhibited worst 'favouritism' at the time of the delimitation done on the whims and desires of the party MPAs and MNAs. "The political parties and public have already rejected the delimitation and how it is possible the same administration under the Punjab rulers will ensure holding of free and transparent elections," they questioned. The local political, social and religious circles and civil society organisations demanded the appointment of judicial officers as returning officers and other election staff to ensure the creditability of local bodies elections. They also appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to direct the Election Commission to conduct the election under the supervision of judicial officers and also direct the Chief Justices of province high courts to provide Judges for the purpose.

campaign to start from 18th: A five-day anti-polio campaign will start from November 18 under which 5,45,198 children up to five years of age will be vaccinated across the district. DCO Imran Sikandar Baloch said this while presiding over a meeting here on Monday.

The DCO said that all available resources would be utilised to make the campaign a success. The campaign focus would be on high-risk union councils (UCs), he said, adding that special teams would cover all entry and exist points of the district so that no child could remain unattended.

He said that no negligence on part of the officials concerned would be tolerated during the anti-polio campaign.

The participant of the meeting were informed that 1,284 teams will take part which include 1,019 mobile teams which will go door-to-door for vaccinating children while 145 teams will be deployed on fixed locations including Bahawal Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur, THQ Hospital, RHCs, Basic Health centres, Municipal Health Dispensaries to vaccinate children.

The DCO directed EDO Agriculture, EDO Community Development, BVH BVH MS, and Administrator Auqaaf, the DPO, SP Motorway, SP Traffic and Additional District Collector to cooperate during the anti-polio campaign.