Officials said 18 cases of violation of prohibitory orders and the election code of conduct have been registered against persons, including poll candidates, till Saturday. The election campaign is yet to reach its peak in urban Ghaziabad but candidates contesting from semi-urban and rural areas are resorting to every possible tactic in the book to woo voters.
Officials said that many supporters and candidates, on a hectic campaign schedule, are violating the election code of conduct. District election officer Nidhi Kesarwani said that an election observer was appointed for Loni and Ghaziabad constituencies on Sunday.
Among those to be booked are new entrants Rashid Malik, of Samajwadi Party, and Nand Kishor, of Bharatiya Janata Party. Both are contesting to secure the Loni seat.
“Nand Kishor had no permission for the election campaign material and did not even inform about the expenditure. The election material was seized from one of his vehicles and he was booked for the violation at Loni. Rashid, on the other hand, was booked for violating the code of conduct as a picture, in which he is seen with a garland of ₹500 currency notes in a public meeting at Loni, went viral,” Prem Ranjan Singh, returning officer, Loni, said.
“A garland made of notes amounts to luring voters. A preliminary inquiry was conducted and the picture of Rashid with the garland of currency notes was found to be true. A detailed inquiry will now follow an FIR. This is the third FIR against him this election season. The election observers have taken a strong note of his repeated violations,” Singh said.
Rashid, however, denied allegations and said that “someone may have posted a fake picture of him with the garland.” Nand Kishor said that he was busy with his election meetings.
Officials said that the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate and sitting MLA Zakir Ali from Loni has also been booked twice this season so far.
This time, only six candidates are in the fray for the Loni seat, which is the lowest number of candidates among the five constituencies in the district.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate from Modi Nagar and also the sitting MLA, Sudhesh Sharma was also booked.
“He has been booked twice this election for alleged violation of ECC. On Saturday, he took out a rally on NH-58 without obtaining permission. The permission granted to him was only for internal areas. In the earlier instance, he was booked for gathering a crowd while he was proceeding for filing his nomination,” Atul Kumar, returning officer, Modi Nagar, said.
Among those to be booked for violations in 2014 general elections were then Aam Aadmi Party candidate Shazia Ilmi and BSP candidate Mukul Upadhyay. Both were booked for allegedly exceeding the time limit for their election campaign. Congress candidate Raj Babbar was also booked at Pilkhuwa under the same charge in March 2014.