Chandigarh, 5 January 2022, (Ozi Indian Bureau)-
Chief Electoral Officer Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju on Wednesday handed over the final published Electoral Rolls for the Assembly Elections-2022 to the representatives of recognised Political Parties here in the form of DVDs.
Giving further details, Dr Raju said that the process of final publication of the photo electoral rolls has been concluded on January 5, 2022 as per the Special Summary Revision schedule issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) January 1, 2022 as reference date. A meeting in this regard has been convened with recognised political parties in the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, in which they were handed over the DVDs of electoral rolls (without photos).
Representatives of All India Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party were present in the meeting.
In wake of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, CEO Dr Raju also sensitised the representatives of the Political Parties about the COVID-19 guidelines and extensively discussed Dos and Donts during the Elections. The Office of CEO also handed over copies of relevant sections of the The Disaster Management Act, 2005, Indian Penal Code and The Epidemic Diseases Act besides providing the copies of COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (GOI) and Department of Health and Department of Home Affairs and Justice (Government of Punjab). A manual issued by the ECI on “Broad Guidelines of General Elections/Bye-elections during COVID-19” has also been handed over to the Political Parties.
The CEO exhorted Political Parties to stick to the COVID-19 guidelines strictly and any violation will be dealt with iron hand once model code of conduct is in place.
He also asked representatives of Political Parties to inform him or his office, ‘if anyone is allegedly using liquor or money power to induce voters’ or ‘matters of irregularities in voting’ or any other illegal activities come into their notice. They were also informed about the C-Vigil Application, through which a complaint can be registered which will be addressed within 100 minutes.
He apprised political parties that all out efforts are being made for giving wide publicity to electors for making their votes. However, if anybody is still not registered as a voter, can register himself/herself as a voter even now via Voter Helpline app, NVSP or by contacting BLOs and their applications will be processed as a part of continuous revision of Electoral Rolls.
Dr Raju apprised Political Parties about the provisions of e-EPIC, wherein they can get the e-EPIC within 15 days after applying. e-EPIC is as good as the EPIC, he added.
The CEO asked each and every Political Party about their concerns regarding upcoming Punjab Assembly Elections 2022.
Meanwhile, Political parties expressed satisfaction at the pace of preparations for the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 and they assured to share their apprehensions with the CEO.
*BOX: COVID-19 Guidelines*
- Wearing of face masks is compulsory in public places, workplaces and during transport.
- Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (2 gaz ki door) in public places.
- Maximum gatherings of 500 persons indoors and 700 persons outdoors subject to an upper limit of 50% of the capacity allowed.
- Provision for thermal screening, hand wash or sanitiser will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas.
- Fully vaccinated (second dose) is compulsory for entry in large gatherings i.e Sabji mandi, grain markets, public transports, parks, religious places, malls, shopping complex etc.
- Adequate vaccination teams to be deployed at places of gathering by district administration and health department.
- Prompt notifications and strict perimeter control of containment zone, buffer zones should be done as per guidelines.
- Engagement of community for curtailing the panic and misinformation about covid spread.
*BOX: Relevant Penal Provisions*
- Section 51-60 of Offences and Penalties of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- Section 188 of the IPC.
- Section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.
- For Strict enforcement, provisions of Sections 144 of CrPC, 1973 may be used.
- Penal instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Health.