Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Apr 3:
To ensure safe, free and fair election in constituencies coming under its jurisdiction, Commissionerate police today held a meeting with candidates of all political parties contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
During the meeting, representatives of political parties wanted to know all the rules and regulation governing electioneering. Several candidates brought allegations of violation of Model Code of Conduct by their counterparts in other parties.
Rabindra Patra, an Independent candidate contesting from Bhubaneswar North assembly seat, alleged that heavyweight parties are using spiritual places for arranging feasts, besides using large sums of money to buy votes. He demanded a regular check by police personnel in these areas.
Patra further sought the commissioner’s help to know what is the minimum distance a candidate must maintain while campaigning if another party was holding a meeting nearby. In his reply, Commissioner Dr RP Sharma said one should give details of the route chart before date while conducting a campaign.
Mahendra Parida, a CPI (ML) candidate from Bhubaneswar North assembly constituency, brought allegation of the fixation of banners and hoardings in government buildings as well as stitching up of banners with government sponsored advertisements at several places to woo the voters.
Most of the candidates sought a single window system for disposal of applications regarding permission for campaign, public meetings, possessions, use of vehicles and sound systems during electioneering.
Besides, checking of party vehicles used in electioneering and raids on persons consuming alcohol also came to the fore during the meeting.
The Commissioner revealed that three flying squads have been deployed in each of the five constituencies coming under the commissionerate police jurisdiction to prevent any untoward incident during campaigning.
Regarding use of spiritual places by party candidates, Dr Sharma said it is illegal to use these places. He directed the ACPs and IICs of the concerned areas to maintain strict vigil on such places and take action if anybody is found misusing them.
“Recently we have busted seven camps arranged by political parties to attract voters under Jatni police limits on the outskirts of the city. Strike forces along with local police check round the clock to ensure that no illegality is committed during electioneering,” Dr Sharma said.
The commissioner said police personnel had defaced 2800 posters and banners put up at forbidden places and the process would continue. Putting up banners in Government buildings is banned while candidates can display them at private places only after getting due permission from the owners of the place, Dr Sharma said.
“One single window system has been opened at Collectorate, Khurda for Lok Sabha candidates to file their applications. Candidates contesting assembly seats can submit their applications at Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) office here. Regarding vehicle permit, the candidate can get permission from returning officers,” he added.
The commissioner said, “I once again appeal to candidates to follow the do’s and don’ts of Model Code of Conduct imposed by Election Commission of India (ECI) to avoid any disturbances during the polls.”