Andhra Pradesh

Model code will be strictly enforced in municipal polls: SEC

State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar addressing district officials on Urban Local Body polls in Visakhapatnam on Monday.  

State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar said that Model Code of Conduct set by the Election Commissioner of India will be strictly enforced during the upcoming urban local body (ULB) polls and any violations noted during the phase will be strictly dealt with.

He was addressing the media after holding a review meeting with the district authorities, election observers and various political parties, here on Monday.

He pointed out that as per the EC’s guidelines, every political party should send a maximum of five party workers to a house during the door-to-door campaign. “Some Opposition parties have expressed fears that whether the ruling party would follow the rule and based on their apprehension, the district authorities have been told to keep a tab on it and react immediately to any complaints pertaining to it,” Mr. Ramesh Kumar said.

He also said that the authorities concerned have been told to ensure law and order during roadshows and public meetings, during the campaign phase. “We recorded over 85% polling during the recently concluded gram panchayat elections and it was due to the secured atmosphere that prevailed. We should aim for a similar turnout of voters in the ULB polls and it is the responsibility of all the District Collectors and senior police officials to ensure that,” he said.

The SEC also said that mobile teams have been told to keep a watch during night time to ensure that unhealthy practices do not take place and excise, police and SEBs have been told to check the flow of illegal liquor and cash. “We have received some complaints that bars and wine shops are being threatened to supply liquor. We are just waiting for one single complaint with proof to take action,” he said.

The SEC has instructed the District Collector and the GVMC Commissioner to ensure that voter slips are distributed by March 7. Speaking about withdrawal of nominations by candidates under threat, he said, “We have received a few complaints and we are investigating them. Based on facts and evidences, the SEC has the discretionary power to allow them to file nominations again.”

Regarding the complaints of alleged intentional power cuts at some places during the recent gram panchayat elections, he said that the respective District Collectors have been told to conduct an inquiry.

‘Inquiry against AU V-C’

On Andhra University Vice-Chancellor P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy reportedly attending a caste-based political meeting organised by the ruling YSR Congress Party, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said that it has been brought to his notice and a complaint has been lodged. “We have asked the District Collector to conduct an inquiry and if it is found correct then the necessary action as per the code of conduct will be initiated against the V-C,” he said.

The SEC also pointed out that Visakhapatnam was a model city with a cultured demography. Any attempt to disrupt that fabric during the course of election will be seriously viewed, he said.

During gram panchayat elections, not a single case of the COVID-19 was reported and people should come out openly and freely to cast their votes, and uphold the spirit of democracy, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 3:25:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/model-code-will-be-strictly-enforced-in-municipal-polls-sec/article33966863.ece

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