HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar on Sunday set the ball rolling for the upcoming elections to 17 Lok Sabha seats. Dates for Parliamentary elections were announced by Election Commission of India on Sunday.
Speaking to media persons, Kumar urged political parties and candidates to strictly adhere to the model code of conduct (MCC). “The ECI has made elaborate arrangements to ensure that the model code is implemented effectively. Any violations of the guidelines would be dealt with seriously. Instructions will be issued from time to time; all parties and candidates need to pay attention to them so as to avoid any misgivings,” he added.
Consequent to the announcement of the schedule for the general elections, Kumar said that Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into force with immediate effect (from Sunday) across the state. This will be applicable to all the political parties and to the State government. Kumar announced that the Commission has constituted the necessary number of flying squads, video surveillance teams, MCMC and accounting teams in all districts of the State. They will soon start checking the transportation of liquor, contraband drugs and other narcotics.
All unauthorised political advertisements, in the form of wall writing, papers, and in any other form such as cutouts, hoardings, banners and flags at public places like bus stations, railway stations, roadways and others will be removed within 48 hours.
All references to ministers, including the chief minister, politicians or political parties available on Central or State government official websites will have to be removed immediately. District Election Officers have been told to ensure that political functionaries are removed from said websites.
The CEO’s office has also opened a dedicated call centre (1950) and launched a website for a complaint redressal mechanism. A control room (040-23453044, 040-23453038 or 040-3453039) will also be operated.
Kumar said that this time, officials at polling booths will insist on the production of EPIC cards instead of voter slips. Voters can alternatively produce any of 11 alternative photo identity documents for proving their identity
While filing nomination papers, every candidate will have to deposit a security amount of `25,000 (`12,500 for SC and ST candidates). The maximum limit of election expenditure by a candidate for Parliamentary constituency is `70 lakh.
Also, the Elections Commission of India has decided to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) in all polling stations in the 17 segments in State.