With the Election Commission of India announcing the dates for the Karnataka Assembly election, Chief Electoral Officer of the state Manoj Kumar Meena on Wednesday said the Model Code of Conduct had come into effect and that the administrative and police officers at the district level must implement it strictly.
As per the schedule, polling and counting of votes will take place on May 10 and May 13 respectively.
“The Model Code of Conduct will come into effect from here onwards. This will be implemented strictly by all the district returning officers and police officers,” Meena said, speaking to reporters.
He added that the election notification would be published on April 13 and that the last date of filing nominations would be April 20. Scrutiny of applications would be conducted on April 21, he said, adding that the last date for withdrawal of candidature was April 24.
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New voters must apply and fill Form-6 by April 11 to include their names in the voters’ list, the CEO added.
“People can apply for inclusion of their names in the voter list, which will be added in the final list. Those who have not filed their applications yet, please file it by April 11,” he said According to Meena, as of Wednesday there were 5.24 crore voters in Karnataka, including 2.6 crore women and 4,751 transgenders.
The CEO said 645 companies of Central Armed Forces have been allotted for the conduct of polling in Karnataka. On April 1, the first batch of 166 CAF companies will reach the state. Apart from the CAF, 74,567 personnel of the Karnataka State Reserved Police will also be deployed.
Meena said there 942 check posts functional in Karnataka, of which 171 are inter-state border check posts. Deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of the border districts are already in touch with their counterparts in the border districts of neighbouring states.
Regarding seizures, he said so far Rs 58 crore worth cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals like gold and silver and freebies had been confiscated.
The police department had made seizures valued at Rs 34.36 crore, including Rs 14 crore cash, 530 kg drugs, 15 kg gold, 135 kg silver and Rs11 crore worth freebies.
The Excise department has made seizures worth Rs 10 crore, whereas the Income Tax department seized Rs 1.16 crore, Commercial Tax Rs five crore, Department of Revenue Intelligence Rs one crore, Narcotics Control Bureau Rs 57 lakh, Central GST Rs four crore and state Civil Aviation department Rs 69 lakh. As many as 1,985 FIRs have been filed under various acts, which include 172 FIRs on inducement to voters. There were 4,119 cases under the Excise Act alone, Meena said.
The expenditure limit in the Assembly election is Rs 40 lakh. To keep track of election spending, the Election Commission has appointed assistant expenditure observers for each constituency to assist the central election observers.
Meena added that people could also keep a watch and report irregularities through the C-Vigil app, which would be operational from today.