Details like assets, liabilities and criminal cases, if any, of candidates fighting the ensuing elections in 37 local bodies of Madhya Pradesh will be put up outside polling stations to allow voters to take an informed decision before they exercise their franchise. Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) has issued a circular directing officials engaged in the election process to display large flex hoardings outside polling booths highlighting assets, education, liabilities and criminal cases, if any, of candidates as mentioned in their affidavits.
The hoardings, to be put up outside every booth, will display the affidavits of the contestants vying for the posts of president and councillor in the August 11 polls, said a public relations department officer. This arrangement has been made for the polls in 37 local bodies – 14 municipalities and 23 Nagar Parishads – on an experimental basis, he said.
The SEC has taken the decision to empower voters and allow them to check antecedents of candidates before they cast their ballot, the officer said. “This way, voters would be able to see the relevant details of candidates before exercising their franchise.” Activists fighting for voter rights welcomed the move.
“We welcome the move as it will allow voters to take an informed decision. Voters will now be able to check antecedents of candidates before entering the polling station,” said Rolly Shivhare, Madhya Pradesh convener of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Shivhare said a delegation of the ADR, an NGO fighting for poll reforms, had earlier called on State Election Commissioner R Parsuram in this regard and he promised to come with this initiative.
“It would be better if this practice is adopted in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections as well,” she added. Shivhare said Madhya Pradesh is the second state, after Maharashtra, to adopt this practice.