The Election Commission has told the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer not to allow any person having security cover given by the State/Central governments to be appointed as polling, counting or election agents for the June 27 Rajya Sabha poll.

Replying to a query in this regard from the State CEO, with a copy marked to all the CEOs of the States/Union Territories, the Commission pointed out that Rule 39AA (2) of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, did not specify who could be the authorised agents of the party, and apart from that the election to the Council of States had a system of ‘Open Ballot Paper’.

“Hence, an MLA or Minister can also be appointed as the Authorised Agent of the political party in respect of election to the Council of States, provided that they have no security cover given by the State/Central governments or security agencies. An MLA or Minister having security cover will not be allowed to surrender his security cover to act as such agent of a candidate/party”.

Also, any other person having security cover would not be allowed to surrender his security cover to act as such agent of a candidate or party.

In another instruction, the Commission asked the CEOs to upload in their websites, within 24 of hours of its filing, any counter affidavits (duly notarised) that challenged the affidavits of the candidates during the polls.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B.S. Gnanadesikan met Congress general secretary in charge of TN Mukul Wasnik and discussed the party strategy for the RS poll in the State as both the DMK and the DMDK have sought the support of its five MLAs.

Informed sources said a decision on this would be taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in consultation with past general secretary in charge for TN Ghulam Nabi Azad, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and Wasnik.

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