Imphal: Political parties and candidates are “advised” by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Manipur to conduct their campaigns as much as possible through digital/virtual/media platforms/mobile based mode instead of physical mode ensuring strict compliance of COVID safety norms.
CEO Rajesh Agrawal, while talking to the media Thursday, stated that a maximum of 5 persons including the concerned candidate, excluding security personnel, if any, shall be allowed for door to door campaigns. The convoy of vehicles shall be broken after every 5 vehicles and interval between two sets of convoys of vehicles should be half an hour instead of gap of 100 meters, the CEO also said. The maximum number of star campaigners for recognized national/state political parties has been fixed to 30 and for unrecognized political parties to 15.
Rajesh then stated that to ensure that all necessary safety arrangements are made, the request for permission for campaign by star campaigners may be given at least 48 hours before the start of campaign. No victory procession after the counting shall be allowed and not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or authorized representative to receive the certificate of election from the Returning Officer, he also said. If a candidate or political party violates any given guidelines, no further permission shall be given to the concerned candidate/party for rallies, meetings, the CEO added.
According to the Manipur CEO, the ECI has revised the “abstract statement of election expenses” due to the increasing trend of virtual campaigning. Candidates are required to lodge “abstract statement of election expenses” along with their day to day “account register” within 30 days of declaration of results. Recognised political parties have to submit their “abstract statement of election expenditure” to the ECI within 75 days of completion of election. Unrecognised political parties are to submit their “abstract statement of election expenditure” to the CEO within 75 days of completion of election, he added. The CEO further stated that the ECI has discontinued “photo voter slip” as an identity proof with effect from February 28, 2019.
For identification at polling stations, voters shall present their EPIC or any other mode of identification card including Aadhaar card, MNREGA job card, passbooks with photograph issued by bank/post office, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Driving License, PAN card, Smart card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian passport, pension document with photograph, service identity cards with photographs issued to employees by central/state government/PSUs/public limited companies or official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, Rajesh Agrawal added.