ECI instructs police to be tough on liquor movement

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Bangalore, Apr 29 (UNI) Election Commission today expressed its displeasure over police handling movement of liquor in Karnataka where Election code is in force for the three phase elections to the Assembly in May.

Talking to newsmen here, after holding a review meeting with District Electoral officers, top Police officials of the 11 Districts going to poll on May 10, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy said that 'poor action' by police in preventive action against hoarding of liquor and other election materials were reported.

He said that "strict instruction were issued to the police officials to demonstrate better actions in next few days as for as preventive actions are concerned against illegal slashing of liquor and poll materials." Mr Gopalaswamy said that political parties can hoist their flags and put banners during public meetings but should be remove from the scene once such meetings were over. The propaganda vehicles making appeal through public address system can also carry banner and flags and it dose not comes under the purview of violation of election code of conduct, he clarified.

He said that representatives of several political parties who met him today also sought clarification on the issue of 'sending it across' their campaign materials from state capital to districts and district places to taluks. "It can be done with the prior permission of CEO and from concerned District electoral officers provided they have proper valid documents to carry". The EC was however has banned the transport of T-Shirts and caps with the imprint of any political party's symbol", he added.

Mr Gopalaswamy also clarified that there is no restrictions in participating political activities for the members of any Self Help Groups (SHG) as they come under Non Government Organisations (NGO'S), however the Anganawadi workers are been banned from such activities, he added.

The EC has also instructed the Election Expenditure observers to look into complaint of any large scale consumable items purchased by political leaders to distribute among the voters and also against any kind of surrogate advertisements appealing people to cast their votes in their favour.

Mr Gopalaswamy said that in four assembly seats EC will place two Electronic Voting Machines in every polling stations as number of contestants from these seats exceeded 16 candidates.

Replying to questions, Mr Gopalaswamy clarified that there is no bar in taking out procession by labour unions on May one. "Only thing that the concerned unions should take prior permission to take out such rallies" he said.

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