Bihar: Parties jittery over poll panel directive on ‘criminal’ candidates

As the election heat picks up in Bihar, a poll panel directive has come as a big blow to all political parties in the eastern state. 
Election Commission of India (File Photo | PTI)
Election Commission of India (File Photo | PTI)

PATNA: As the election heat picks up in Bihar, a poll panel directive has come as a big blow to all political parties in the eastern state. The Election Commission recently sent a letter to 150 registered parties in Bihar mandating them to disclose the reasons for giving poll tickets to candidates with criminal records.

While the directive came in the wake of a Supreme Court order, the letters have returned undelivered from the addresses of the headquarters of 20 parties. The EC is said to have taken serious note of the matter.
The SC had ruled on February 13 that parties that field candidates who have criminal cases pending against them must inform why they have chosen such tainted candidates. 

The EC sent a directive to all 2,543 national political parties in the country, apart from the 150 parties of Bihar, in this regard. Parties will have to publish the details on the criminal records of the candidates in newspapers and social media platforms within 48 hours. They will have to state the reasons for nominating them. 

Bihar is the first state where this order will be implemented and every party will be forced to drop musclemen from its candidate list. This has made them jittery as these strongmen may contest as Independents and spoil the chances of their candidates. RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said,  “The EC should clarify what kind of cases should be pending against the candidates and then take a stand.” BJP’s  Nikhil Anand said the party will abides by the directive.

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