New Delhi: Ministers, MLAs and others having security cover will not be eligible to become polling, counting or election agents of a candidate or political party in elections to the Rajya Sabha or the State Legislative Council.
The Election Commission has told Chief Electoral Officers of all states not to appoint persons with security cover as polling, counting or election agents of a candidate in elections to the Council of States or the Legislative Council.
Under the existing rules for elections to Parliament or State Assemblies, such persons holding security cover are not allowed to become election or polling agents of candidates or parties.
The EC clarification came in reply to a query by Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu whether MLAs and Ministers can be appointed as authorised agents for the election to the Council of States slated on June 27.
Though the EC did not bar MLAs, Ministers to become authorised agents of political parties, it said those having security cover will not be allowed to be one and they will neither be allowed to surrender their security cover before becoming an election agent. It also did not allow any other person to surrender his security cover to become a poll agent.
"Rule 39AA (2) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 does not specify who shall be the authorised agents of the party, and apart from that the election to the Council of States has a system of `Open Ballot Paper`.
"Hence, an MLA or Minister can also be appointed as the Authorised Agent of the political party in respect of election to the Council of States, provided that they have no security cover given by the State or Central Government/ Security Agencies. An MLA or Minister having security cover will not be allowed to surrender his security cover to act as such agent of a candidate/Party," said an EC order.
It added, "Any other person having security cover will not be allowed to surrender his security cover to act as such agent of a candidate or party."
The election for six Rajya Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu will be held on June 27. Among those whose Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant on Jly 24, 2013 are that of A Elavarasan, Kanimozhi, Tiruchi N Siva, B S Gnanadesikan, V Maitreyan and D Raja.