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EC to abide by Office of Profit bill while clearing petitions
August 19, 2006 17:19 IST
A day after President A P J Abdul Kalam gave his assent to the Office of Profit Bill, the Election Commission said on Saturday that it would abide by the legislation in deciding on the disqualification petitions against 40 MPs.
"The EC would abide by the legislation," Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami told reporters, when asked about the fate of the petitions that are pending with the Commission for disposal.
On the plea for disqualification of Union Health Minister A Ramdoss for being on the board of directors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a post that is not exempted as office of profit under the legislation, he said the EC has served notice to him and his response was awaited.
The President had given his assent to the controversial re-enacted law on Office of Profit on Friday, a day after Parliament approved setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to define what constitutes such an office.
The CEC was in Varanasi to review the progress in the revision of electoral rolls in around 12 districts under the Varanasi, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur divisions.
He said the elections would take place on time and before the completion of the term of the present state Assembly by May 15 next year.
The EC has set a deadline of October 6 this year for publication of the electoral rolls in the state and December 31 for issue of identity cards to all eligible voters.
The Commission has also directed district magistrates to set up addtional polling stations where booths have more than 1,500 registered voters, the CEC said.
Referring to the delimitation of the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, he said the exercise was still going on and a notification in this regard was expected later this year after seeking objections from various quarters.
After the delimitation is completed, it would be sent to the President for assent and only then would it be decided when it should come into force, Gopalaswami added.