Seeking to cut bureaucratic red tape, the Election Commission on Friday issued orders for setting up a ‘single window system’ in all parliamentary seats to provide clearance to candidates and political parties to hold rallies and public meetings during the Lok Sabha polls.
In a directive issued to all Chief Electoral Officers, the poll body said all returning officers should set up a ‘single window permission cell’ to provide permission to parties and candidates for holding rallies, public meetings, using vehicles for campaigning and using non-commercial airports and helipads for their high-flying campaigners.
The returning officers will have to deploy a dedicated staff to handle the requests and forward the same to nodal officers of other departments for “prompt action”.
A DSP-level officer will have to camp at the permission cell to issue permissions or provide decisions after obtaining approval from competent authority of state police and land- owning agencies concerned.
Under the new system, the candidate or party will not have to seek separate permission from traffic police for election events.
An officer of the transport department will also be attached to the permission cell to decide on the use of “modified vehicles” like chariots for campaigning.
The applications will be settled on ‘first-come first- served basis’ and it has to be filed at least 48 hours before the event along with details of expenditure to be incurred.
The permission cell will have to decide on the application within 36 hours. All decisions pending after 36 hours of submission of application will have to be reported to the returning officer.
For use of non-commercial airports and helipads, the concerned district magistrate will have to be approached at least 24 hours before the scheduled landing, mentioning the name of the occupants in the aircraft.