Punjab Assembly Elections: Prohibition is all set to be imposed in Punjab from 5 PM today – state goes to polls on 4th of February and today is the last day of campaigning. The EC has ordered the District Election Officers to strictly implement its orders – these guidelines have been issued under provisions enacted in Section 126 of Representation of Peoples’ Act. These guidelines are in addition to the regular prohibition guidelines such as no campaigning and propagation of parties on TV, radio or newspapers 48 hours before the elections. The EC has also said that any advertisement being published in the newspapers on February 3 and 4 would require a certification and permission from the body.
Moreover, the body has also directed the police and the civil administration, across the state that outsiders, who are not ‘required’ must leave the state as soon as possible. All the political parties have been briefed about the guidelines to ensure that they are followed religiously. Delhi legislative assembly elections in 2015 had seen full page advertisements of PM Modi on several newspapers one or two days prior to elections. The election commission was caught off guard and had attracted much criticism from the opposition party and even the citizens hoping for fair elections.
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Although, prohibition in states is nothing new but it seems that this is the reason why Election commission, this year is being extra careful with the election process. Giving details to PTI, the chief Electoral Officer of Punjab, VK Singh said that the guidelines issued are in accordance with the provisions encated in the Section 126 Representation of Peoples’ Act 1951.