Friday, January 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Political parties asked to abide by code of conduct
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
The district administration has sought the cooperation of political parties to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections. Addressing the first meeting of the representatives of all major political parties in the committee room the mini secretariat here, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, asked them to scrupulously abide by the code of conduct.

He made an appeal to the participants in the coming assembly polls to desist from election propaganda, based on caste or religion of their opponents. Similarly, places of worship like temples, gurdwaras, mosques and public places would not be used for electioneering. The Deputy Commissioner made it clear that no posters, banners, wall writings could be put up on government or private property without the written permission of the owners. Defaulters would attract penal action under the Prevention of Defacement Act.

The participants in the meeting were told by Mr Sandhu that written permission from the administration was mandatory for taking out processions or rallies, and in case of processions, the information about the route would have to be provided to the administration for making necessary security arrangements. The political parties were asked to avoid taking out processions through congested areas and busy commercial centres to avoid disruption in traffic movement and harassment to the general public.

According to the Deputy Commissioner, use of loud speakers during the poll campaign would be subject to permission from the appropriate authority and plying of unauthorised vehicles during the election would be liable for action under the Model Code of Conduct. On the day of polling, each candidate would be permitted to use only two vehicles.

Giving details of the polling arrangements, Mr Sandhu informed that each returning officer would be provided 10 Electronic Voting Machines each so that they could train the voters in their respective areas about working of these machines. Voters in the rural areas of the district would also get opportunity to know about the working of EVMs. On the polling day, one supervisor for every 10 polling stations would carry spare EVMs which could be replaced immediately with any of the malfunctioning EVMs.

Speaking on the occasion, the SSP, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, assured the political parties that peace would be ensured at all costs during the assembly polls and stern action would be taken against miscreants and trouble-makers.

Among others Mr S.R. Kler, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Harsohinder Pal Singh, Assistant Commissioner (General), Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, Khanna, and Mr Jaskaran Singh, SSP, Jagraon, attended the meeting.


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