Narulla consults with recognized political parties regarding conduct of forthcoming polls
SRINAGAR: Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Umang Narulla, held a meeting with the recognized political parties of J&K today regarding the conduct of forthcoming Assembly Elections.
The parties were briefed by the CEO on various issues regarding elections. The CEO sought cooperation of all political parties in implementing various provisions of the Model Code of Conduct. He also drew their attention to the latest guidelines of Election Commission of India (ECI) on election manifestos. All parties were requested to furnish a copy of their manifesto for further submission to the ECI. He emphasised that the manifestos have to be consistent with the letter and spirit of other provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and should not contain anything repugnant to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution.
Furthermore, the political parties were advised to avoid making those promises which are likely to vitiate the purity of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters in exercising their franchise. Also, it is expected that manifestos reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it.
Mr. Narulla briefed the parties regarding the applicability of the expenditure monitoring guidelines. It was emphasised that in the case of J&K Assembly election the expenditure of candidates will be reckoned from the date of notification of the elections. He urged that all candidates should open a separate bank account for this purpose and drew attention of the parties to the public notice given in this regard.
The CEO also requested all the recognized and un-recognized political parties to submit list of their Star Campaigners to the CEO as per the provisions of the J&K Representation of the People Act, 1957. He also requested the parties to obtain permits of those vehicles which will be used by them for campaigning.
The CEO impressed upon the parties to seek certification of political advertisements in the electronic media from either the District Level Media Certification & Monitoring Committee or the State Level Media Certification & Monitoring Committee. He drew their attention to the fact that the ECI has laid special emphasis on monitoring paid news and that the revised comprehensive instructions on “Paid News” are available on the Commission website.
Mr. Narulla informed the political parties that First Level Check (FLC) of the EVMs would be starting very soon and requested them to send their representatives in the districts to personally attend the FLC sessions. Furthermore, on the suggestions of the political parties, the CEO assured that EVM demonstration centres will be set up in all districts so that people could be made aware about the procedure for casting vote on the EVMs. The EVM brochure approved by the ECI was circulated to the political parties during the meeting.
The political parties raised issues regarding appointment and sitting arrangement of polling agents at polling stations, accord of permission regarding vehicles and re-location of polling stations damaged in the recent floods.