Lucknow (PTI): The Election Commission of India on Saturday directed all the district magistrates and superintendents of police to take strong action against officials, who are indulging in favouritism.

The poll body's move comes in a bid to ensure "temptation free (prahlohan-mukt)" Lok Sabha elections and provide a level-playing field to all the political parties.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that directions have been issued to all the DMs and SPs to ensure level playing field for all the political parties, and to take strong action against those officials indulging in favouritism.

"Ensure impartiality with junior officials working at cutting-edge level for level playing field. All the DEOs (District Election Officers) have been asked to immediately act on the complaint lodged by the political parties," Kumar told reporters in Lucknow.

"At present, no complaint is pending and all the problems have been satisfactorily redressed," he said.

Kumar, who was accompanied by Election Commissioner Arun Goel, also asked the officials to check cases of impersonation.

The chief election commissioner said that immediate action should be taken against people, who are involved in fraudulent activities pertaining to the election process.

"SOP for defining the size of flag should be applicable equally to all. Counting of postal ballots should be held first. The movement of the EVMs should be in official vehicles,and the vehicles should be equipped with GPS tracking," Kumar said.

"Timely delivery of EPIC and voter information slip should also be ensured," he added.

The chief election commissioner also said that voters posted on election duty should cast their postal ballot at the voter facilitation centre.

"The names and numbers of the election observers should be made public so that it could be accessed by all," Kumar said.

He added that a social media cell should be made at the district level for tackling fake news so that "false narratives are tackled immediately".

The chief election commissioner further said that targeted interventions are needed to increase the voting percentage.

Uttar Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa was also present on this occasion.

The chief election commissioner was on a three-day tour to the state capital beginning February 29 to review the poll preparedness for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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Mangaluru: The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has appointed Anwar Manila as the social media committee coordinator of the Dakshina Kannada District Non-Resident Indian (NRI) cell of the KPCC. The appointments were made through an order issued by KPCC President DK Shivakumar on Saturday.

In addition, the party has also appointed Vice President of non-resident Indians forum and All India Congress Committee’s Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) secretary in-charge Dr. Arati Krishna as the chairperson of the KPCC NRI Cell.

Anwar, a non-resident Kannadiga residing in Dubai for the past 18 years, has been an active member of the Congress party for a decade, particularly within its social media unit. He is also serving as the member of the social media unit of INCAS. In 2019, he served as a member of the publicity committee for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, attended by former AICC president Rahul Gandhi in the UAE.

Alongside, Anwar has also been actively serving in social, religious and educational fields and is also recognised by several non-resident Kannadiga organisations.