ELECTIONS TO the Municipal Corporation will be held on December 18, the UT Election Commission said on Tuesday. “The date of polling will be December 18 (Sunday) from 8 am to 5 pm and the results will be declared on December 20. Nominations can be filed from November 22 to November 29. Scrutiny of the nominations will be held the next day, that is November 30,” stated UT Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta.
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With the announcement of the election schedule, the model code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect.
The last day for withdrawal of candidatures will be December 3. “As campaigning will end 24 hours before the polling day, the candidates will be allowed to campaign only till 5 pm on December 17,” said Mehta.
There are 26 wards in Chandigarh in which the elections will be held. There are 5,07,190 voters in the city, out of whom 2,70,358 are male and 2,36,819 are female and 13 of them are third gender. There are about 460 polling booths.
All the 26 wards have been divided between seven returning officers before whom nominations will be submitted. The nominations will be filed between 11 am and 3 pm on all the working days.
This time, the commission has decided to have a photo of the contesting candidate on the ballot paper which will be affixed to the electronic voting machines. Therefore, it will be mandatory for the candidates to submit two black and white photographs while they file their nomination papers.
A security of Rs 6,000 for each candidate will be deposited in cash with the returning officer at the time of filing nomination papers and Rs 3,000 in case of a Scheduled Caste candidate.
Since the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007, has been extended to UT, the State Election Commissioner said, a fine of Rs 50,000 can be imposed on the spot and six-month imprisonment can be awarded to the violator. A special squad will be constituted to check violations of the code of conduct.
There will be three election observers and three election expenditure observers.
As per the model code of conduct, even if a contesting candidate has to hold meetings, the party or the candidate shall inform the local police authorities about the venue and time for any proposed meeting well in time. No mikes or speakers will be allowed after 10 pm. If a procession has to be taken out, the party or candidate will have to inform the police about it.
Under the norms for the ‘’party in power”, the party in power whether at the Centre or in the state will not use its official position for the purpose of election campaign. “The ministers shall not combine their official visit with the electioneering work and shall not make use of official machinery. Government transport shall also not be used,” notes the model code of conduct.
The Election Commissioner said that since the code of conduct had come into force, there would be no more inaugurations or foundation stone laying ceremonies now.