The Election Commission of India has for the first time decided to allow MLAs to cast their vote in the forthcoming presidential election at any state headquarters other than their own in exceptional cases.
In the past,MLAs always cast their vote at their state headquarters or at Parliament House.
The EC has said that the facility will be available to MLAs when they are forced to remain away from their own state on the day of poll due to compelling and justified reasons and may not be able to cast vote either in their own state headquarters or at the Parliament House.
For availing of this facility,an MLA will have to make a written request to the commission on a prescribed format,giving reason for his inability to cast vote at the place of poll in his own state or at Parliament House. The MLA will also have to mention the name of the state capital where he or she intends to vote.
The request should reach the commission not later than 10 days before the date of poll in order to enable the commission to send the ballot paper of his state to the place where he intends to vote on July 19.
EC secretary K N Bhar issued directives in this regard to Assistant Returning Officers for the presidential election in all states through respective chief electoral officers on Monday.
Bhar stated that normally,the commission does not allow MLAs to vote at any place other than his own state or Parliament House because it is very difficult to send ballot papers of all the states to every other state. The ballot paper of each state is different.
UP Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said that the relaxation has been made for extreme cases where some MLAs may not be able to cast their vote either at their own state headquarters or at Parliament House. CEOs are in-charge of the poll preparations in state capitals for the presidential election.
The President of India is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of Parliament and elected members of the legislative Assemblies of states,including the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Including the members of Rajya Sabha,Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies,there are around 4,890 electors in the current presidential election.