Open campaigning Frenzy Ends; Polling Booths Beckon Voters - The New Indian Express

Open campaigning Frenzy Ends; Polling Booths Beckon Voters

Published: 09th April 2014 10:12 AM

Last Updated: 09th April 2014 10:25 AM

Open campaigning for the Lok Sabha election came to a close in the state at 6 pm on Tuesday, 48 hours prior to the close of polling on Thursday.

The last few hours of campaigning turned out to be a virtual show of strength of various political parties, who vied with each other for the voters’ mind-space.

Owing to the Election Commission’s strict vigil, the campaign frenzy came to an end at 6 pm as political parties were wary of the consequences of exceeding the deadline. As per rules, conducting and addressing public meetings is banned during the last 48 hours prior to the close of polling. During this period, poll symbols should not be explicitly displayed or highlighted before the voters. Soliciting votes through loudspeakers, musical programmes, plays, cinema or television is also banned during the 48-hour period.

The EC has already informed political parties that those violating the election rules relating to campaigning would attract punishment of imprisonment up to two years and fine.

The EC has also issued a circular prohibiting election-related programmes on electronic media during the 48 hours preceding the close of poll.

However, the campaign finale was not without its usual share of troubles. Minor skirmishes between UDF and LDF workers were reported from Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district and Perinthalmanna in Malappuram. In Chalakkudy, LDF workers, who are backing cine actor and independent candidate Innocent and supporters of Congress’ P C Chacko almost came to blows during campaigning.

Candidates will be engaged in silent campaigning till Thursday when the fate of 269 candidates in 20 parliamentary constituencies across the state will be decided.

The EC is hopeful of a better turnout this time as polling time has been extended by two hours - from 7 am to 6 pm.

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