Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Election Commission
09-March-2011 18:56 IST
EC meets Political Parties to Explain New Instructions for Forthcoming Elections
The Election Commission of India held a session on 9th March 2011, for the representatives of all the National Parties and Recognized State Parties in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry (where general elections to the legislative assemblies have already been announced by the Commission on 1st March, 2011), to brief them on new instructions / procedures / practices like revised affidavit to be filed by the candidates along with nomination papers, the regulation of paid news, implementation of model code of conduct, election expenditure monitoring measures etc. for better compliance. All the six National Parties and 11 out of 13 Recognised State Parties (of the said five States / UT) attended the meeting.

Addressing political parties, the Chief Election Commissioner(CEC), Dr. S.Y. Quraishi informed them of the new measures such as modified affidavit to be submitted at the time of nomination, participation of political parties in preparation of EVMs, distribution of voter slips by election authorities, provision of 24x7 control room with toll free no. 1965 in all election going states w.e.f. tomorrow, institution of district and state level committees to check paid news, facilitation of alliance partners to carry alliance party flags, provision of account of votes at the end of polls, introduction of greater transparency in counting of votes etc. The CEC informed political parties of the detailed mechanism that has been put in place for monitoring of expenditure, cash flow, distribution of liquor, food, gifts, tokens etc. during the elections. Dr. Quraishi said that the Commission wanted clear understanding by political parties of the new provisions and rules so that there is no violation. He asked political parties to avoid cash transaction and for opening of separate bank account for election expenses for each candidate as per directions already issued by the Commission.

Election Commissioners Shri V.S. Sampath and Shri H.S. Brahma also clarified doubts of political parties regarding new rules and regulations.

The Political Parties called for stronger measures against paid news and wanted ECI to take up the issue with media houses for formulating a code of conduct for the media, while they thanked the Commission for the measures already taken. They suggested that they may be permitted to appoint 'Expenditure Agent' for every contesting candidate for the purpose of better expenditure accounting. There was elaborate discussion on the issue of expenditure that is incurred on account of 'Star Campaigners' and campaign by allied parties.

Political parties inquired from the Commission about several dos and don'ts during the election process and campaign, which were answered by Commission and its officials. The parties appreciated the Commission for its new initiative of briefing political parties before the elections.

Election Commission of India
New Delhi, 9th March ,2011