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EC announces poll dates

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 06, 2003 15:55 IST
Last Updated: October 06, 2003 18:28 IST

Elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi will be held on December 1, 2003, the Election Commission said on Monday.

Mizoram will go to polls on November 20, Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh said at a press conference in New Delhi.

In Mizoram votes will be counted on December 2 and in the other states on December 4, he said.

In Mizoram notification for holding polls will be issued on October 27; last date for filing nomination is November 3; scrutiny is on November 4; and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 6.

In the other notification will be issued on November 7; last date for nomination is November 14; scrutiny is on November 15; and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is November 17.

The commission also decided to hold by-elections to three assembly seats in Bihar -- Sitamarhi, Satwa, Barachapti -- and two seats in Uttar Pradesh -- Mahsi and Harora -- on November 20.

Lyngdoh said electronic voting machines would be used in all five states.

For the first time, in addition to the existing postal ballot facility, proxy voting will be implemented for those in the armed forces, the CEC said.

The polling is being held in two phases keeping in mind various festivals.

"Since Mizoram is not affected by the Ramzan fasting, the state can go to polls earlier. The polling schedules of the other states have also been guided by the similar factors," he said.

Lyngdoh said the Centre had given adequate number of paramilitary forces for deployment.

He added: "The commission has brought into effect on March 27 the directions of the Supreme Court on affidavits to be filled by all candidates along with their nomination papers. The affidavit includes information on the criminal antecedents of the candidates, the moveable and immoveable properties of the candidate, his/her spouse and dependents, the liabilities of the candidate and his/her educational qualifications. The filing of the affidavit is mandatory."

Asked what action the commission would take if candidates were found giving wrong information, Lyngdoh said such cases could be argued only in high courts.

"But after the Supreme Court verdict no candidate will dare to do such a thing that would give powers to returning officer to reject his nomination," he added.

Asked if the commission had been able to remove deficiencies in electoral rolls, the CEC said, "I must compliment the politicians of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to bring disparities in the voters' list well in time to be removed. Delhi politicians were sleeping in this matter."

He added that Delhi's electoral rolls "are not of the same standard as of the other states".

"We have taken a cue from Rajasthan government and involved Gram Sabhas and Resident Welfare Associations to knock off the names of the dead from the electoral lists. They have also knocked off the names of those who have shifted from one place to another."

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