LAHORE - Control rooms will be established in Punjab and Islamabad to monitor the by-polls, said Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza yesterday.

Chairing a meeting about by-polls and upcoming local bodies’ elections, Sardar Muhammad Raza said he would himself oversee the polling process.

Analysts say extra-ordinary measures have been taken to monitor by-polls for the first time in country’s history.

High political stake of the PML-N and PTI in NA-122 which falls in the provincial capital and claimed by the ruling party as its stronghold, has made this election highly important.

Sardar Raza asked the top officials of Punjab to extend their fullest support for the peaceful and transparent conduct of the elections. Punjab chief secretary, home secretary and inspector general have assured him of their complete cooperation.

Mr Raza said he could not carry out the election task alone and he needed the assistance of military and civil agencies.

“It will not be possible for the election commission to achieve its task of holding “free, fair and impartial elections” without the help of provincial administration and the army,” he added.

Election commission sources told The Nation that military circles had also assured their complete support to the election authorities for holding peaceful and transparent elections.

A formal meeting of military and election authorities will take place separately. The meeting will decide on which polling stations army troops will be deployed.

The sources said army troops were likely to be deployed at the sensitive polling stations.

Both the authorities will decide which sensitive polling stations needed complete deployment of the army troops and which others will be watched by army and Ranger troops. According to security agencies, 52 polling stations out of 283 in NA-122 have been marked sensitive.

Earlier, Secretary Election Commission Fateh Muhammad Babar Yaqoob told the media that army troops would be inside the polling stations to assist the election authorities with any untoward situation.

He said, “Punjab police chief has assured the chief election commissioner that police will play an impartial role during the elections.”

Yaqoob said CCTVs would be installed at the polling stations on the request of the army.

The commission would summon the persons who would violate code of conduct during NA-122 by-election campaign.

He claimed: Election Commission is bi-partisan and it will remain impartial. Even the ruling party is saying the Commission is neutral.