Five lakh people apply for inclusion in voters' list

Five lakh people apply for inclusion in voters' list

The State Election Commission has received as many as 5.01 lakh applications across the State as of Saturday for the inclusion of new names in the voters’ list.

The commission will continue to receive applications till April 7. In Bangalore alone, more than 2 lakh applications have been submitted, with nearly 50,000 of these being made online. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Chief Election Officer Anil Kumar Jha asked voters to approach the officials concerned immediately if their names were found to be taken off the list by mistake.

With regard to campaigning, the official said the candidates are allowed the use of helicopters for campaigning — provided they keep the commission informed about their destination, the duration of travel and the number of people travelling with them.

“The Election Commission will also keep track of the amount spent on such travels,” he said and added that if the travel is taken up under the particular political party budget, then it will not be calculated under the candidate’s expenditure.

He also called attention to the many film stars who have chosen to contest elections and how the Election Commission plans to deal with any covert sponsorship arising from the showing of their films.

In situations where such films appear on television, the commission has no direction to bar the movies, he said. “However, for the purpose of keeping records of money spent by the candidate during campaigning, the officials will keep a watch on the sponsors for such movie screening,” he added. “The process of keeping records of amounts spent will begin after April 10 — once the nominations of candidates have been made.”

One aspect of campaigning in which the election commission is clear about is festival celebrations and banners. The Commission has categorically barred candidates using festivals and banners as a pretext of wishing the public well while advertising their names and pushing a political agenda. “Such things are against the code of conduct,” Jha said and warned leaders against partaking in community feasts during the polls.

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