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Election Commission to ask political parties not to cross ‘lakshman rekha’ during polls

Election Commission

New Delhi: Amidst concerns being aired over the quality of political discourse during polls, the Election Commission will tomorrow urge political parties to maintain “high standards” and not to cross the ‘lakshman rekha’.

At a meeting tomorrow that will feature the six national and 49 state parties, the poll watchdog will also discuss the proposal for hiking the security deposit of poll candidates, which is at present Rs 25,000 for Lok Sabha and Rs 5,000 for Assembly polls. The amount is almost half for SC candidates.

The poll panel will also demonstrate ‘totaliser’, a new machine to enhance secrecy of votes during counting which prevents disclosure of voting pattern.

EC has approached the Law Ministry with a proposal for the introduction of these machines. The poll panel is of the view that the use of ‘Totaliser’ will bring a further level of secrecy in voting and the mixing of votes at the time of counting will be achieved, which will prevent the disclosure of pattern of voting at a particular polling station.

At the closed-door meeting, the Commission will also discuss the issue of ‘indirect campaigning’ in areas which go for polls in a multi-phased election.

There have been instances when election rallies that are being held in areas where campaigning is on are beamed live to areas where voting s underway. With no technology for jamming the signals, the Commission will seek the opinion of the political parties on the contentious issue.

EC also wants to introduce the concept of candidates who have served with the government needing to furnish a ‘no dues’ certificate.

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