156 GPs go to polls in Kolar

Giving details of calendar of events for the elections to rural local bodies at a press meet here on Friday, Deputy Commissioner K Prabhakar said that model code of conduct has come into effect from Thursday (April 15).

The elections will be held to 2,560 Gram Panchayat seats. Nominations could be filed from April 19 to 26. The nominations will be scrutinised on April 27 and April 29 is the last date to withdraw nominations. Polling will be held on May 8 and re-polling, if necessary will be held on May 12. The counting of votes will be taken up on May 17. The candidates are strictly prohibited from contesting elections on political affiliation.

Sensitive booths
Out of the 1,172 polling booths spread over five taluks, 372 booths have been identified as hypersensitive and 452 as sensitive. There are 102 hypersensitive and 72 sensitive booths in Kolar taluk, 86 and 72 in Malur, 71 and 104 in Bangarpet, 55 and 87 in Mulbagal and 74 hypersensitive and 43 sensitive booths in Srinivaspur taluk. Special vigil will be maintained on the booths in Kolar and Srinivaspur taluks. There are six booths with a voter population of more than 1,200, the DC stated.

Taluk and Zilla Panchayats can conduct meetings during the enforcement of the model code of conduct. However, they cannot take decisions on implementation of new programmes. The programmes which have already secured approval can, however, be implemented. The official vehicles provided to presidents of Taluk and Zilla Panchayat and Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee will be with the Deputy Commissioner till the completion of the elections.

Political affiliation
Drinking water projects could be implemented in areas facing acute water scarcity. But they cannot be launched in the presence of political leaders or through a public function. Since Gram Panchayat elections are conducted without political affiliation, the use of symbols the parties or photographs of party leaders cannot be used. Such material would be confiscated in case of violation.

Cultural and religious programmes could be conducted, but political leaders should not issue any statement or make promises influencing the voters. Government vehicles will be seized if the elected representatives (Legislators and Lok Sabha members) use them for campaign. Ministers and legislators should not conduct meetings related to issue of ration cards or any other development projects in villages. Even the Janaspandana, a programme to take administration to doorsteps cannot be conducted.
The model code of conduct is not applicable in Town Panchayat, Town Municipal Council and City Municipal Council limits. However, there is no clarity on election meetings held in such limits. A clarification has been sought from the Election Commission, Prabhakar said.
Five nodal officers have been appointed to monitor enforcement and violation of model code of conduct. Apart from this, a team of four lead by Block Education Officer has been constituted at the taluk level.

Security and poll staff
As many as 156 election officers and equal number of assistant election officers have been appointed. They have already been given training at the district-level. Training will be imparted at the taluk level on April 17 and 18.The SPs of Kolar Gold Fields and Kolar have intimated shortage of staff for election duty. As many as 593 constables, 227 head constables, 480 Home Guard personnel are required for Kolar district while 120 constables, 84 head constables and 200 Home Guard personnel are required for Kolar Gold Field. An appeal will be made to the Election Commission and Director General and Inspector General of Police.

The counting of votes will be taken at Government Boys’ Pre-University College in five taluk centres on May 17.Assistant Commissioner R S Peddappaiah, Tahsildar S M Mangala and other officials were present in the press meet.

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