Hyderabad: Ten days of hectic campaigning by political parties for the municipal elections will end at 5 pm on Monday.
The State Election Commission (SEC) issued notification on January 7 for holding of elections for 120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations. The polling will be held on January 22. Counting of votes will take place on January 25.
The SEC has made arrangements to conduct elections in 2,727 municipal wards and 325 divisions in the corporations.
In view of the High Court’s direction, the SEC has issued a separate notification for the Karimnagar Municipal Corporation election to be held on January 24 and campaigning will end on January 22. The Karimnagar Municipal Corporation has 60 divisions. The SEC has said that campaigning must end at 5 pm on January 20 in all urban local bodies where elections are notified and at 5 pm on January 22 in the Karimnagar Municipal Corporation.
It has cautioned that any contravention of this provision is an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or both.
The SEC has asked all candidates, political parties, campaign managers and managers in-charge of electronic media to take note of this and implement it strictly in order to comply with the provisions of the law.
It also informed that the government has issued General Orders on May 4, 2016 authorising the collectors to declare local holidays in the areas notified for election and other related issues whenever the notification is issued by the SEC. The commissioner of labour was directed to declare polling day as a paid holiday to shops and establishments located in the areas notified for elections under Telangana Shops Establishments Act, 1988.
The SEC said that secrecy of voting is the fundamental feature of all elections. The SEC has made foolproof arrangements to prevent any breach of such secrecy either on the day of the polling or on the day of counting.
The state poll panel said there was a jail term of one year for anybody exerting or attempting to exert undue influence/interference with the free exercise of any electoral rights....