Election office in J

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Ganderbal, Nov 21 (UNI) Fifty six-year-old Abdul Aziz Mir was among the dozen voters trying to locate the affidavits of candidates, filed by them about their qualifications, past records and assets in this high profile constituency, going to polls on Sunday.

''We have been coming to the offices of Returning Officers (RO) and District Election Officer (DEO) almost daily, since the last date of withdrawal of candidature on November 8, to know about the candidate we are electing our representative from this constituency,'' said Mir.

This is in total violation of directions from the Chief Election Commission (CEC), in which it has been clearly said that affidavits being filed by the contesting candidates should be displayed in the office of RO and DEO for the voters.

This correspondent, who visited the offices of RO and DEO, Ganderbal today could not find any affidavit on any notice board, as was necessary as per the directions of the CEC.

When the DEO, Mr Khanday was contacted, he said the details were available on the website of State Chief Electoral Officer (SCEO).

Majority of the voters told UNI that they have no telephone so question of computer does not arise. It is just a way to hide the information of high profile candidates of this constituency.

They said during the 2002 elections, all the information was available on the notice boards.

When the DEO and RO were approached, they declined to give copies of affadavits of candidates, saying these were available on website.

When the website of SCEO was opened, only the names of candidates contesting from the Ganderbal seat were being displayed. The pages about the affidavits of all the 12 candidates failed to open.

Pages of affidavts of Omar Abdullah and PDP nominee Qazi Mohammad Afzal also failed to open.

When the Election Observer for Ganderbal constituency, Vikram Kapoor was contacted and informed about the violation by the DEO, he told that he will direct the person concerned to display the photostat copies of affidavits filed by the candidates.

Interestingly, the details of some candidates contesting from Kangan constituency were available on the website. However, again the page of NC candidate Mian Altaf Ahmad did not open.

A BJP candidate, Nazir Ahmad Raina in his affidavit said he was eighth standard pass, having no past criminal record and there was no case pending against him in any court of law.

However, his property details were not available.

UNI BAS RSA KN1858

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