Don’t seek votes invoking Lord Ayyappa: Teeka Ram Meena

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He said that the EC would take strong action against candidates invoking the name of Lord Ayyappa or any other god for soliciting votes.

Teeka Ram Meena

Thiruvananthapuram: The Election Commission will not show any mercy towards political parties that invoke the names of gods for electoral purposes.

This was made clear by Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena at any all-party meeting here on Wednesday. He said that the EC would take strong action against candidates invoking the name of Lord Ayyappa or any other god for soliciting votes.

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena on Wednesday directed collectors who are also district returning officers to remove PVC flex boards and other non-biodegradable campaign materials immediately.

At a press conference here he said the advertisements on KSRTC buses with chief minister’s photo would be removed along with hoardings announcing schemes and programmes of the government. “This issue was brought to my notice yesterday,” he added.

Mr Meena said the High Court directive against the use of non biodegradable materials had come at the right time. The copies of High Court order have been given to representatives of all political parties.  

“The court order clearly states that there will be no use of PVC flex boards and other non biodegradable materials as campaign materials in state of Kerala. I have issued DO to all collectors to implement it strictly and also informed political parties to comply with the directive,” he said. Only cloth material and paper would be allowed as campaign material.

Candidates were directed to publish criminal cases three times in print and visual media: Along with nomination papers and Form 26, the candidates should submit an affidavit with details of all criminal cases. “This is mandatory. They will have to furnish details of all criminal cases that they are facing right now. FIR, police cases all such details should be given to returning officer while filing the nomination papers,” he said.

These details have to be published in important local newspaper from the date of nomination till the date of polling. The documentary evidence should be submitted to returning office. The entire cost of the advertisement will be borne by the candidates.

“This is a new initiative. Some of the political parties were feeling uncomfortable as they fear getting exposed before the people. But this is part of electoral reforms,” Mr Meena said.

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