EC reschedules Punjab Assembly polls to Feb 20


CHANDIGARH, Jan 17: Punjab Chief Electoral Officer S Karua Raju said here on Monday that the Election Commission (EC) has decided to re-schedule the Punjab Assembly elections.
As per the new schedule issued by the EC, Raju said the notification will be issued on January 25 and the last date of filing nominations is February 1, while scrutiny will be done on February 2.
The date of withdrawal of candidature has been fixed on February 4.
Polling will take place on February 20, whereas counting will be done on March 10, he added.
The CEO said that the Commission had received several representations from Punjab government, political parties and others, drawing attention to the movement of a large number of devotees from Punjab to Varanasi for Guru Ravidasji Jayanti celebrations on February 16.
If polls were to be carried out on February 14, it will deprive a large number of people from voting, he added.
Answering a media query on the requirement of pre-certification of social media campaigning content from Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), Raju said that social media is no different from the general media and same rules will be applied to run any political campaign on social media.
In another query on deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF),, the CEO said that they have demanded 1050 companies of CAPF from EC, adding that 50 companies of CAPF have already been deployed.
Giving details about the deposition of licensed weapons, Raju said that out of total 3.9 lakh licensed weapons in the state, over 3.3 lakh have been deposited till date, which is 86.5 per cent.
Regarding seizures, he said that till January 16, various enforcement teams have seized valuables worth Rs 42.94 crore in violation of Model Code of Conduct.
The surveillance teams have seized 5.44 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 1.54 crore, recovered psychotropic substances amounting to Rs 40.82 crore, besides confiscating unaccounted cash of Rs 16 lakh, he added.
The CEO said that as many as 1076 highly vulnerable hamlets have been identified.
Besides, 2250 persons have been identified as probable sources of trouble, he said, adding that out of these persons, preventive action had already been initiated against 979 persons, while the remaining would also be brought to book.
He further said that from a security point of view, preventive measures had been taken against 148 persons.
He added that as many as 2103 cases of non-bailable warrants have been executed, while execution in 231 cases is under process.
As many as 4979 nakas were operational across the state, he added.

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