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Model Code of Conduct and Covid-19 guidelines must be followed- Chief Electoral Officer

Meeting of recognized political parties concludes 

भोपाल : बुधवार, सितम्बर 30, 2020, 21:46 IST

Chief Electoral Officer Smt. Veera Rana informed that with the announcement of Assembly by-election dates in Madhya Pradesh, the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect. All the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct will be applicable on the concerned districts / assembly constituencies and political parties, their candidates and the government. In the seven districts including Gwalior, Morena, Sagar, Indore, Burhanpur, Khandwa and Dewas, the Model Code of conduct will be effective only in the assembly constituency where there are Nagar Palika Nigams.In the remaining 12 districts of Anuppur, Chhatarpur, Raisen, Mandsaur, Guna, Ashoknagar, Shivpuri, Bhind, Datia, Dhar, Agar-Malwa and Rajgarh, the Model Code of Conduct will remain in full effect. Strict action will be taken against those who violate these guidelines.

A meeting of recognized political parties was organized for the by-elections to be held in the 28 assembly constituencies of the state in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer. Giving information about the schedule of the By-election 2020, Chief Electoral Officer Smt. Veera Rana said that the notification of the by-election will be published on October 9. The last date for submission of nomination papers is October 16. The nomination papers will be scrutinized on October 17. Withdrawal of the nomination papers will be on October 19. Polling will be held on November 3 and counting of votes will be on November 10.

New initiative for differently-abled and elderly voters

New initiative has been taken this time for disabled voters and those above 80 years of age in Vidhan Sabha by-election constituencies. Seniors citizens above 80, persons with disabilities identified in the voter list and Covid-19 affected or suspected cases will be given the facility to vote through postal ballots. Those wishing to vote through postal ballots will have to apply to the returniong officer of the concerned constituency in Form-12D, giving all the required details. This process of voting through postal ballot system will be completed one day before polling day.

The Chief Electoral Officer informed that polling will be held in 9361 polling stations which includes 1441 auxiliary polling centres in the Vidhan Sabha by-election. Booths with more than one thousand voters have been made auxiliary polling centres, which are mostly located in the premises of the original polling booth.Mandatory minimum facilities have been provided at each polling centre. There are a total of 63 lakh 69 thousand 830 voters in 28 assembly constituencies in the Vidhan Sabha by-election 2020 in which 33 lakh 73 thousand 70 male voters, 29 lakh 77 thousand 808 female voters and 198 third gender voters are registered. There are 18 thousand 754 service voters, of which 18 thousand 378 are male and 376 are female voters.

It was informed in the meeting that the last date for obtaining Form 6, 7, 8, and 8a has been fixed on October 6, 2020. The last date for disposal of these forms is October 13. The voter list will be printed till October 16 and the voter slip will be distributed from October 23 to October 28, 2020.

As per the criteria of Covid-19, in the Assembly by-election, the Commission has increased the number of EVMs from 120 percent to 140 percent and the number of VVPATs has been increased from 130 percent to 150 percent. A total of 24 thousand 3 ballot units will be used in the by-election, in which 9 thousand 361 will be used for voting and 13 thousand 706 machines have been reserved and 936 machines will be used for training and awareness. Similarly, a total of 23 thousand 558 control units will be used, in which 9 thousand 361 machines will be used for voting and 13 thousand 261 machines have been reserved and 936 control units will be used for training and awareness. With this, a total of 23 thousand 53 VVPATs will be used, out of which 9 thousand 361 will be used for voting and 12 thousand 756 have been reserved and 936 VVPATs will be used for training and awareness.

The Chief Electoral Officer informed that nearly 56 thousand polling personnel have been appointed for the polling process. Adequate number of vehicles has been arranged for transportation of polling parties under Covid-19 guidelines. The third randomization of polling parties will be held 72 hours before instead of 24 hours in compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines.

During the meeting, all recognized political parties were told that they were expected to ensure compliance with guidelines issued by the Commission regarding Covid-19. For submitting nominations, the number of persons who accompany the candidate should be restricted to two and the number of vehicles used for the purpose of nomination should also be limited to two. Strict adherence to instructions of the Commission regarding information related to candidates involved in criminal cases must be ensured. In door-to-door campaigns, the number should be restricted to 5 persons including the candidate. During road shows, the convoy of vehicles must be restricted to 5 vehicles (excluding vehicles used for security).

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Shri Arun Kumar Tomar, Joint Chief Electoral Officer Shri Dharanendra Kumar Jain, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Shri Pramod Shukla and Smt. Disha Pranay Nagvanshi also gave information related to the election.

Representatives of recognized political parties gave their suggestions at the meeting. Representatives of Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India were present in the meeting.

Rajesh Dahima / Laxman Singh
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