EC issues prohibition protocol for 48 hours before Punjab poll

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Chandigarh, Feb 2 (PTI) The Election Commission today issued extensive guidelines to ensure prohibitions during the period of 48 hours beginning 5 PM today until the conclusion of assembly polls on February 4 in Punjab.

The guidelines were issued to the District Election Officers in accordance with the provisions enacted in the Section 126 Representation of Peoples' Act 1951, an election office spokesman said here.

As per the guidelines, the ongoing campaigning in all assembly constituencies and Amritsar Lok Sabha by-poll would come to an end 48 hours prior to the polling date.

Subsequently, all the political leaders, functionaries or Party workers who are not the registered voters will have to vacate the constituency within this period. Necessary guidelines have been issued to the police and civil administration to ensure that the outsiders leave immediately.


All the political parties have also been briefed on this so that the EC directive could be followed, he said.

It has directed the election and police administration to keep a close check on the community centres, guest houses and lodges so that the outsiders, if any, could be kept housed without causing any disturbance during the electoral process.

The identity cards of those who stay there in the constituency would also be checked, the official said.

The administration has been asked to ensure all those who have been under security cover could remain there in the constituency, in which they are the registered voters, till the poll day.

These directions would not be applicable on the contesting candidates or the state heads of the political parties but they would be allowed to move only between their state party office and their residence about which the EC has already been informed, he said.

Plying of two-wheelers would also be restricted 24 hours before the poll date. These restrictions would not be applicable to the vehicles carrying ailing, physically challenged or officers/employees discharging government duties, he said.

The EC has imposed complete prohibition on broadcasting or propagating election-related material on TV, Radio or even Newspapers. Any such material influencing the voters would not be permissible during the 48 hours before the poll.

However, any advertisement being published in the newspapers on February 3 and 4 requires prior permission or certification from the EC, he said, adding that all electronic media advertisements, except the bulk SMS, IVRS and social media are banned for broadcasting during the last 48 hours ending with poll.

Advertisements for bulk SMS, IVRS and social media will be certified by state-level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) if it is a general party propaganda for the entire state, and by district MCMC if it is for the prospects of the candidate.

Print media advertisements will be certified by state- level MCMC if its general party propaganda and by district MCMC if it is for the prospects of the candidate.