'Elections in 5 states early next year'

'Elections in 5 states early next year'

“The elections to these five states will most likely be held together, but the final dates will be worked out after negotiations with the Union Home Ministry over security arrangements,” said Quraishi who was in Goa on the final leg of the pre-election review.

With the elections to some of these states due early next year, a February timeline appears most likely. Quraishi, however, said all options were open, keeping in mind several factors and more particularly the school exams season.

  The CEC was concerned over the growing phenomenon of paid news. He received several complaints in Goa also, one of them put up by the Goa Union of Journalists. Quraishi said a media monitoring committee under the Press Council of India had worked well during the Bihar elections and 120 cases of paid news were identified.

The media also helped the CEC monitor the election process. “The media are the eyes and ears and officials have been told to take media reports as formal complaints to initiate an enquiry,” he said.

Only the elector’s photo identity card and the voter’s slip now being issued by the  commission will be accepted as ID proof in these elections.    Over 380 Goans who hold dual citizenship — Indian and Portuguese — have lost the right to vote, the Election Commission said. There were specific complaints that people who have acquired Portuguese passports were on the electoral rolls. “After reviewing these cases, we deleted the names of 383 people who hold dual passports in Goa,” Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said.

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