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Byelections: poll panel takes steps to stop goods hoarding

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Special Correspondent

Rs. 23 crore seized during 2008 Assembly elections

BANGALORE: The Election Commission has taken steps to prevent hoarding of goods and gifts to lure voters during the run-up to the byelections to seven of the eight Legislative Assembly constituencies in the State, to be held on December 27.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, State Chief Electoral Officer M.N. Vidyashankar said the model code of conduct was under force from November 23 in all six districts where the byelections would be held. The Deputy Commissioners of Belgaum, Raichur, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Uttara Kannada and Mandya districts had been instructed to take steps to prevent hoarding of goods and articles by contesting candidates and party leaders. Cash totalling Rs. 23 crore had been seized during the 2008 Assembly elections and 2,280 cases had been registered against party candidates and leaders for violation of the model code of conduct, he said.

Constituencies

The constituencies that go to polls on December 27 are Arabhavi and Hukkeri in Belgaum district; Devadurga in Raichur district; Doddaballapur in Bangalore Rural district; Turuvekere in Tumkur district; Karwar in Uttara Kannada district and Maddur in Mandya district. As many as 11.81 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Polling will be held in 167 stations in Hukkeri constituency, 170 in Arabhavi, 195 in Devadurga, 217 in Karwar, 208 in Turuvekere, 210 in Doddaballapur and 225 in Maddur constituency.

Election Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) would be issued to 92 to 95 per cent of the voters in all seven segments, he said.

The Assistant Commissioners of the sub-divisions had been designated as Returning Officers for the constituencies in these byelections. A meeting with police officers of the districts would be convened soon to discuss the law and order situation in the seven constituencies, he said. The notification for holding the elections will be issued on December 3, while the last day for filing nominations is December 10.

Scrutiny

Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on December 11, and the last day for withdrawal of candidature is December 13. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 30. The entire election process will be completed before January 1, 2009, according to Mr. Vidyashankar.

Asked about the byelections to the Madhugiri seat, Mr. Vidyashankar said “We want directions from the court.” Based on the court order, the Election Commission will conduct the elections, he said.

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