Mandi deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer Devesh Kumar, while exercising powers under the election commission guidelines, has issued necessary guidelines and dos and don'ts for candidates and political parties for the fair conduct of the Mandi byelection, scheduled to be held on June 23.
Mandi constituency touches the boundary of six districts and cover largest area of land as compared to rest of three other parliamentary constituencies of the state.
Nearly, 1.25 lakh voters would exercise their franchise to elect the member of parliament for a few months, as the Lok Sabha elections are due next year.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jairam Thakur started his election campaigning from Karsog area of the district and addressed a dozen public rallies on the first day of the campaigning on Sunday, whereas the Congress is yet to finalise its candidate.
Kumar while issuing guidelines said the election commission has directed the authorities to enforce the model code of conduct strictly and asked parties to ensure that there should be no complaint of violation.
Kumar said no advertisement should be issued in print and electronic media without the approval of the screening committee and the advertisement should avoid highlighting the achievements of the government at the cost of the public exchequer.
Kumar said any political party which is power either in the state or at the Centre should give no cause for any complaint that official machinery had been used for the purposes of election campaign.
Kumar said no party or candidate shall include in any activity which might aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities and religions.
He added that all parties and candidates should avoid all corrupt activities and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 100 m of polling stations, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the polling and transport and conveyance to voters to and from the polling station.
Kumar said permission or licence was to be obtained for the use of loudspeakers or any other facility, including vehicles, in connection with any proposed meeting, rally or campaigning on road.
He said the election commission would be appointing observers and nodal officers to handle various heads of the administration during elections and if the candidates or their agents have any specific complaint or problem regarding the conduct of elections, they may bring the same to the notice of the observer and nodal officer (complaint).