Saturday, January 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India 


M A I N   N E W S

EC’s directive to Punjab Collectors
Gujarat byelections on February 21
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
The Election Commission, which yesterday took a serious view of the violation of the model code of conduct by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, today directed all Collectors in the state to maintain a close watch on any violation of the code and report it to the commission.

“We have asked the Collectors in Punjab to maintain a close watch against any violation...We are also keeping a strict vigil,” Deputy Election Commissioner Subhas Pani told newspersons here.

Mr Pani confirmed that Punjab Chief Secretary N.K. Arora had sent a “compliance message” in response to the direction given by the Election Commission asking him to convey to Mr Badal that he should desist from using a huge convoy of vehicles during his campaign tours.

The commission had yesterday asked the Chief Secretary to send a compliance report through fax by 10 pm.

Asked why the commission had taken action only in Punjab while such violations were taking place in other states going for elections, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Pani said: “If we notice any such violation or we receive any complaints about such violations we will take immediate action after in inquiry.”

To another question pertaining to the allegations that 21 Pakistani nationals managed to get their names enrolled in the electoral rolls from Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, the Deputy Election Commissioner merely said: “Not to our knowledge”.

Meanwhile, the three-member commission under the chairmanship of Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh held a meeting today and decided to hold a byelection to vacant Assembly constituencies of Rajkot-II, Sayajiganj and Mahuva (ST) in Gujarat on February 21.

While Rajkot-II and Sayajiganj seats fell vacant due to the resignations of MLAs V.R. Vala and Jaspal Singh, respectively, the cause of vacancy in the Mahuva constituency was due to the death of sitting MLA P.D. Kikabhai.

While the notifications would be made on January 28, the last date for the filing of nominations would be February 4, scrutiny of nominations on February 5 and withdrawal of candidature on February 7.

The counting of votes would be taken up on February 24 and the entire election process would be completed by February 28.

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