Election booths on EC's radar
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 15: Following the instructions of the Election Commission of India, the State Chief Electoral Officer, RR Rashmi has issued a notification specifying certain restrictions near polling booths and in setting up of election booths for the forthcoming Assembly election.

Outlining the instructions, the CEO said that no election booth should be set up within a distance of 200 metres from the polling station.

Only one table and two chairs should be provided at each such election booth with an umbrella or a piece of tarpaulin or cloth.

No kanats should be used to enclose the election booth, added the CEO.

Candidates wishing to set up such booths should intimate the same in writing to the Returning Officer in advance specifying the names and serial numbers of the polling stations.

Before setting up such booths, the candidates concerned should obtain the written permission of the authorities concerned such as the Corporations, Municipalities, Zilla Parishads, Panchayat Samitis etc, added the notification.

The written permission should be in the possession of the volunteers manning the booth.

The election booths should be used solely for the purpose of issuing non-official identity slips to the voters which should be printed strictly in accordance with the instructions of the Commission, said Rashmi and added that the slip should not have the name and symbol of the candidate and party.

One booth can have only one banner to display the name of the candidate and the party's symbol.

There should be no crowd at any of the booth and electorates who have cast their votes should not be allowed to approach the booth.

The persons manning the booth should not obstruct or prevent the elector from casting his/her vote, said the notification further.

Sounding a firm warning, the CEO said that any violation of the restrictions laid down will be taken up seriously by the Commission and stringent action will be initiated against violators.

The action that may be initiated include removing the booth and penalising the candidate, their agents and workers.

In order to prevent electioneering at the polling stations and to maintain law and order at the counting centres, the Commission has directed that no person other than the authorised election and police officials will be allowed to carry cell phones, cordless phones, wireless sets within 100 metres of the polling station.

This zone is described as the Polling Station Neighbourhood, said Rashmi.

The Chief Electoral Officer has also instructed all the political parties in the State including the candidates, their election agents and all concerned to comply with the instructions issued by the Election Commission of India.