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Political parties feel model code too harsh

Staff Reporter

See need to relax rules pertaining to use of vehicles

Photo: A.V.G. Prasad

Opposition leaders talking to Collector G. Jayalakshmi after an all-party meeting in Eluru on Wednesday. —

ELURU: Representatives of political parties on Wednesday expressed their resentment over the reported curbs of the Election Commission (EC) on their campaigning.

Speaking at an all-party meeting on the model code convened by the District Election Authority, they said some stipulations pertaining to use of vehicles by parties for campaigning amounted to restricting their fundamental right.

CPI district secretary N. Subba Rao, G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and K. Rajaramamohan Roy of the CPI (M) and Lakshminarayana of the BJP highlighted the need for relaxation of such rules. Mr. Subba Rao and Mr. Roy said the secretaries of the district units of parties did not have any freedom to move around, campaigning for the candidates from their parties and the nominees of their choice as per the model code.

The code states that everybody, including party secretaries, are liable for prosecution if found guilty of using vehicles for campaigning. The leaders ought to get their vehicles registered under the head of the respective candidate and they are not supposed to go beyond the Assembly or Parliamentary constituency for which they are permitted under the head of the respective candidates, Collector G. Jayalakshmi clarified.

Case of Left parties

“Take the case of the CPI and CPI (M), for instance, which are not fielding their candidates in any of the constituencies in the district now. In such a case, getting permission for plying of vehicles by leaders of the parties under the head of their party candidate will not arise,” Mr. Subba Rao said.

“Although we do not field our candidates in the election fray, we got every right to participate in electioneering,” he maintained. Mr. Lakshminarayana from the BJP expressed dismay over a stipulation that asks the candidate to ensure securing of permission for not only use of two-wheelers but also for the supporters who ride them.

Superintendent of Police B. Balakrishna said action would be initiated against persons not authorised to use the two-wheelers regardless of the permission accorded for such vehicles.

The media too is quite likely to depend on video footages and pictures to be supplied by the election authorities as its representatives shall be kept 100 metres away from the place of filing of nominations as per the CEC guidelines.

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