ANDHRA PRADESH

Code of conduct: observation panels to be formed soon

KHAMMAM, MARCH 3. The Collector, Arvind Kumar, said here on Wednesday that Assembly constituency and district-level committees would be formed for observing strictly the model code of conduct for political parties and individual candidates.

Addressing a news conference, he said the expenditure incurred by political parties on public meetings and campaign would be taken into account right from the moment the code came into effect. He explained that the maximum limit for election expenditure would be Rs. 25 lakhs for candidates contesting for the Lok Sabha and Rs. 10 lakhs for the Assembly constituency.

The contesting candidates were required to maintain their election expenditure account in the prescribed register on a day-to-day basis. Candidates should file affidavits with information on the criminal antecedents, movable and immovable properties, liabilities and his or her educational qualification. The filing of the affidavit along with the nomination paper was mandatory and its non-filing would result in rejection of the nomination paper.

Returning officers were instructed to make available copies of the affidavits freely to other candidates, general public and media on the very day the nomination was filed by the candidate. He said that no one should indulge in defacement of walls, buildings, bridges, milestones and signboards. Flags, banners and arches should not be displayed across the roads. Prior permission was necessary for erecting big hoardings, cutouts and penal action would be initiated against those who violate the code. He said 9,644 polling personnel would be drafted for the conduct of polls. In all, 1,754 polling stations would be set up in nine Assembly segments in the district. The district required 3,770 electronic voting machines and 2400 of them were already made available. The additional allotment of 1,310 machines were expected by March 9.