Parties must pay to publish criminal records: EC

Chhattisgarh CEO Subrat Sahoo addressing the media on Monday. DH PHOTO

Political parties will have to bear the cost of publishing the criminal antecedents of party candidates in print and electronic media, while the final decision on this is yet to be taken by the Election Commission.

Chhattisgarh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Subrat Sahoo, answering a query, said the issue was also raised during a meeting with political parties.

Briefing the media, he said October 23 is the last date for filing nomination papers in the 18 Assembly constituencies in the first phase of polling.

The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on October 24 and candidates can withdraw the nomination papers on October 26. The polling will be held on November 12.

Sahoo also spoke about the details of filing nomination papers and the precautions to be taken by the candidates.

He said the security deposit for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates is Rs 5,000, while that for General candidates is Rs 10,000, which can be deposited in cash before the returning officer or submitted through bank challan.

The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe nominees should have valid caste certificate. One candidate can file a maximum of four nomination papers and can fight elections from two Assembly constituencies.

If the candidate files nomination papers without the original Form B issued by the party, then they are likely to be rejected.

The CEO said that a total of 2,468 sector magistrates, 318 flying squads and 374 static surveillance teams have been constituted for the elections.

He said a total seizure of materials worth Rs 3.50 crore have been made.

It includes Rs 1.50 crore in cash seized by the police and Rs 46.50 lakh seized by the Income Tax department.

Flying squads, SSTs, police and the excise department have seized 35499.79 litres of liquor worth Rs 35.15 lakh, freebies (laptops, vehicles, cookers, sarees) worth Rs 1.18 crore, among other items.

Sahoo said a total of 135 complaints were received, out of which 121 are pending.

The number of transfer-related complaints was 1036, out of which 39 have been resolved and 997 are pending.

He, however, added that most of these complaints are irrelevant and do not fall under the Model Code of Conduct.

The number of complaints received on the NGS portal is 1,546, out of which 1,414 have been resolved, while 132 are pending.

Sahoo said that since Sunday, the cVIGIL app has become operational and total of 130 complaints have been registered, out of which 114 have been resolved. He said the app is being updated from time to time and numbers would increase.

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Parties must pay to publish criminal records: EC

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