After an outcry by the probable candidates for the municipal council and nagar panchayat elections over the compulsion of the filing nomination online, the State Election Commission (SEC) has withdrawn the condition.
The candidates can now submit their nomination manually by visiting the office of returning officer at the office of district collector. The elections will be for more than 4,000 seats in 165 municipal councils and nagar panchayats on November 27.
According to sources, the candidates found it difficult to file their nominations online. The nomination was to be filled online along with an affidavit declaring their assets declaration and a printout of it was to be submitted to the returning officer. This was made compulsory for the first time in the state.
Most of the candidates could not file their nominations in first two days when the procedure began on October 24 due to the slow pace of the servers, load shedding and the lack of awareness among the candidates. However, with just one day left for filing the nominations, the candidates and their parties expressed their fear that the procedure will mar their attempts at contesting the election.
Accordingly, Congress had written to the State Election Commission (SEC) demanding that the procedure of filing nominations online be scrapped. “The candidates have been finding it difficult to access the SEC website to fill up the forms. They are worried with the possibility that their forms will be rejected because of some technical error. The option of the filing the nomination offline should have been available like it had been during the past elections,” stated letters written by leader of opposition in legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on October 25 to the SEC.
The SEC held a video conference meeting with the district administrations to discuss the difficulties and the ways to tackle them on Thursday. The district collectors admitted to have faced the technical errors and some of them even expressed the fear to complete the procedure in due time. The experts also claimed that there was no provision in the existing laws to make the online nomination compulsory.
State election commissioner JS Saharia said, “To ensure that the candidates do not face problems while filing their nominations, we have decided to adopt the old system as well. There were technical problems with the online procedure in smaller towns, but at the same time we have also told the returning officers to upload the details of the candidates immediately.”