After a meeting with the heads of various political parties, the District Election Officer, BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad conducted a press meet to informed the media of nomination procedures for the upcoming election, on Monday, April 16, 2018.
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The filing of nominations for the polls will begin on 17th April, 11am onwards. Between 17th and 24th, nominations can be filed between 11am and 3pm. The Commissioner specified rules for the nomination process: not more than three vehicles and five people including the candidate can be present within 100m of the office of the RO. Nomination paper and the format for the same have been provided to the political parties.
Candidates must submit two affidavits with their application form: One is Form 26 which provides details of the assets and liabilities of the candidates’ dependents, and if there have been any cases against them. If any category in the affidavit is left blank, the application will be rejected. Another affidavit has to be submitted stating that if the candidate has occupied any government office or residence over the past 10 years, all dues have been cleared.
Each candidate has to open a new bank account and provide the A/C number. All transactions and expenditures towards the election must be made through this account. Candidates contesting from General constituencies have to provide Rs. 10,000 as deposit. SC/STs must provide Rs. 5,000 as deposit along with their caste certificate. Candidates from recognised State and Central parties have to also submit Form A and B which deal with the authorisation from said party that the candidate is contesting from the mentioned constituency. The Returning Officer (RO) will publish a list of all the candidates who have submitted their nomination after 3pm every day.
The Electronic Voting Machines have been updated. Mark 3 machines manufactured by BEL have been introduced in 8-9 constituencies in Bengaluru for the first time in Indian elections. 5000 of these new sleek and upgraded machines have been provided by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and approximately 3250 of them will be used in polling stations across Bengaluru. The Commissioner assured the public that this is merely a technological upgrade and will not change the voters’ experience in any manner. 14 General Observers and Liaison officers, 19 Expenditure Observers and 3 Police Observers have been appointed. Certain constituencies, ie, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Chickpete, Padmanabhanagar, BTM Layout, Chamrajpete, Sarvagna Nagar, Mahadevapura, Yeshwanthpur and K R Puram, have been identified as expenditure sensitive.
The BBMP has launched 4 new apps:
- General Quiz Election App – to help voters gain information and test their knowledge on the elections
- Election Directory App – to report any untoward activity that a voter sees in his constituency
- Model Code of Conduct App – to report violations of the model code of conduct by any candidate or political party
- Polling Station Navigator app – to increase voter turnout, an app has been developed to direct the voters to their closest polling booth
As of now, very few people are aware of these apps. Only 6 complaints have been registered and addressed.
Commissioner said that many efforts have been made to increase voter turnout. One of them is the Polling Station Navigator app. Another is the facility to find your closest polling booth by sending an SMS to the number 9731979899 in the following format: KAEPIC(space) (EPIC number).
Shravya Sharath and Gauri Mullerpatten, students of Christ University interning with Citizen Matters, reported this article.