Political parties should ask their candidates to include the details of the campaigning in online platforms and new media such as social networking sites in their affidavits while filing their nomination.

This was among the new rules of the Election Commission of India that were being enforced for the first time in a Lok Sabha election. Government officials involved in elections explained these rules at an all-party meeting convened here on Monday by the district administration.

Election expenditure of a candidate must be accounted from the date of filing nomination. The candidate must open a new bank account for the purpose. The expenses made by the party prior to the filing of nominations would be accounted in the party’s expense, which would be sent to the Election Commission.

To hold public meetings, and rallies parties should apply at least three days in advance. Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan asked parties to apply five days in advance for permission to conduct street corner campaigns. Permission would be granted on a first-come first-served basis.

Flying squads on election duty must include a uniformed police person. The proceedings of cash seizure must be videographed.

District Election Officer Archana Patnaik said that instructions have been given to seize unaccounted money when it was above Rs. 10 lakh.

A party activist said that for a candidate contesting the Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency, permissions for various activities had to be sought from some officials in Pollachi and some in Coimbatore. In the earlier elections, all powers were vested with the Returning Officer.

Representatives of major registered political parties attended the meeting.

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