J&K CEO asks political parties to respect poll code

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umang Narulla on Monday asked political parties in the state to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct and make sure their manifestos do not contain anything "repugnant" to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umang Narulla on Monday asked political parties in the state to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct and make sure their manifestos do not contain anything "repugnant" to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

"The Chief Electoral Officer held a meeting with the recognised political parties of the state about the conduct in forthcoming Assembly elections.

"All the parties were requested to furnish a copy of their manifesto for further submission to the ECI.

"The CEO emphasised that the manifestos have to be consistent with the letter and spirit of other provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and should not contain anything repugnant to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution," an official spokesman said.

He said the parties were briefed by the CEO on various issues regarding the elections.

"The CEO sought cooperation of all the political parties in implementing various provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.

"Narulla also drew their attention to the latest guidelines of Election Commission of India (ECI) on election manifestos," the spokesman said.

He said the political parties were advised to avoid making those promises which were likely to "vitiate" the purity of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters in exercising their franchise.

"Also, it is expected that manifestos reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it," the CEO told the representatives of the parties.

Narulla briefed the parties regarding the applicability of the expenditure monitoring guidelines.

"It was emphasised that in the case of state Assembly election, the expenditure of candidates will be reckoned from the date of notification of the elections," he said.

He urged that all candidates should open a separate bank account for this purpose and drew attention of the parties to the public notice given in this regard.

The CEO also requested all the recognised and un-recognised political parties to submit list of their star campaigners to the CEO as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.

He also requested the parties to obtain permits of the vehicles to be used by them for campaigning.

The CEO asked the parties to seek certification of political advertisements in the electronic media from either the District Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee or the State Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.

"The ECI has laid special emphasis on monitoring paid news and that the revised comprehensive instructions on paid news are available on the Commission website," he told them.

On the suggestions of the political parties, the CEO assured that the Electronic Voting Machines demonstration centres will be set up in all districts so that people could be made aware about the procedure for casting vote on the EVMs.

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