Kohima: Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland, V Shashank Shekhar, has instructed all the deputy commissioners, additional deputy commissioners and district election officers, and all heads of department, under the Government of Nagaland, to strictly adhere the election ‘code of conduct’ for free and fair election during the 14 General Election to Nagaland Legislative Assembly 2023.
The CEO apprised all political parties, candidates or any other person connected with election including ministers, MLAs, personnel secretary, personnel assistant to ministers, advisors and MLAs not to misuse official vehicles for campaign, electioneering or election related travel during election as per instructions/guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The official vehicles include all vehicles belonging to central and state governments, public undertakings of the central and state governments, joint sector undertakings of central and state governments, local bodies, municipal corporations, municipalities, marketing boards (by whatever name known), cooperative societies, autonomous districts councils, or any other body in which public funds, however small a portion of the total, are invested, and also, vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Central Police Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments. The Commission guidelines has clearly mentioned that there shall be a total and absolute ban on use of official’s vehicles except officials performing any election related official duty. The CEO directed to all the DEOs to take necessary action for compliance of ECI instructions within 24 hours of the announcement of the elections.
The CEO also stated that minister are entitled to use their official vehicles only for commuting from their official residence for officials work’s provided that such commuting is not combined with any electioneering or any political activities.
As per the ECI consolidated instructions 2014 standing order, the commission further directs that cars / vehicles shall, under no circumstances, be allowed to move in convoys of more than ten vehicles, excluding the security vehicles.
The CEO of Nagaland also directed all the district administrations to keep a close watch to find out if any official vehicle belonging to any authority specified in the preceding para is being used for electioneering purposes. In case it is so, district magistrates will, forthwith, requisition or caused to be requisitioned such vehicles, after following due procedure, for election work, under Section 160 of the Representative of the People Act,1951 and such requisitioned vehicles shall not be released until after the completion of the process of elections.