With the enforcement of the code of conduct from Wednesday morning, the Vadodara District Collectorate has issued the mandatory notifications for the Lok Sabha Election 2014.
At a meeting with political parties on Thursday, the District Collector Vinod Rao urged them to respect the code of conduct and maintain peace during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, while announcing a single-window system for permissions of political canvassing as well as a toll free number to take in citizens’ complaints against parties violating the code during elections, especially regarding campaign expenditure. This single-window system will provide a combination of permissions, ranging from police to RTO, for the canvassing period of the candidates.
Rao also informed parties that printing voter lists or voting cards for citizens with the party election symbol will be treated as a gross violation of the code of conduct.
The Collectorate has accepted an appeal by Vadodara citizens to start a toll free control room number in order to keep tab on the “campaign expenditure” of political parties during canvassing. The number 1800-233-0066 was tested and launched to enable people to register complaints against political parties who are found violating the rules of the expenditure during campaigning. The collectorate has also formed a Media Certification and monitoring committee (MCMC) that will monitor all political advertisements on TV channels and cable network,during the electoral process and also keep tabs on suspected “paid news”, and take strict action against any contravention of the guidelines of the Election Commission of India.
Rao has also stressed on the need to strictly follow the guidelines for monitoring the expenses. “We will make sure the rules to check the expenditures for the poll campaign is duly followed. We request all political parties and workers to maintain peace and follow conduct of elections in a free and fair manner,” Rao said.
The district collectorate has appointed 11 nodal officers in the Election Expenditure Monitoring Cell for the constituency segments of Vadodara. A total of 10 Accounting teams and Video Viewing Team, 20 Video Survellience Team, 32 Static Surveillance Teams comprising of 96 officers and 32 Flying Squads, comprising 128 officers, have been formed. The candidates will be allowed to file their nomination papers between April 2 and 9, while withdrawal of nomination can be done till April 12. “The candidates will have time from April 12 till 5pm on April 28 to campaign for their candidature for the April 30 polls. We are trying our best to ensure a good voter turnout.”