Ahead of Bihar polls, EC declares timeline for advertising criminal records
Ahead of the Bihar assembly elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday declared a revised schedule for advertising of criminal antecedents by candidates with the first one coming within four days of the last date of withdrawal of nomination.
The second publicity has to be made within the 5th to the 8th day after the last date of withdrawal and the third one from the 9th day till the last day of the campaign, i.e. two days before the date of poll.
“Commission has decided to further streamline the instructions concerning the publicity of criminal antecedents by candidates concerned and by the political parties who nominate them for elections. Commission has always emphasised on this moral yardstick for overall betterment of electoral democracy,” the ECI said in a statement.
The statement further added that this timeline would help the voters in exercising their choices in a more informed manner. It said that uncontested candidates will also have to follow the same rules for publicity.
“Regarding the publicity by uncontested winning candidates as well as the political parties who nominate them, it is clarified that uncontested winner candidates, as well as the political parties who nominate them, shall also publicise the criminal antecedents, if any, as prescribed for other contesting candidates and political parties,” the statement said.
As per the existing EC guidelines, the candidates have to publish this information thrice - once in a national and twice in a regional newspaper and thrice on TV channels.
According to the poll panel’s notification of October 2018, the declarations are done after the last date of the withdrawal of nomination and two days before the end of campaigning. Only those candidates who contest elections needed to publish the detailed records.