The Chief Electoral Officer Punjab Dr. S. Karuna Raju today appealed to all the candidates who have criminal antecedents that they must advertise their criminal antecedents thrice in print and electronic media before May 17, 2019.
Addressing the press conference here today, Dr. Raju said in pursuance of directions issued by the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India had amended form-26 being part of the nomination form thereby mandating the candidates contesting parliamentary elections to provide complete information regarding the pending criminal cases against them or cases in which they have been convicted.
Such candidates and their parties would be bound to give information in this regard thrice to the general public through print and electronic media. In this regard instructions have been already issued to the concerned.
Dr. Raju further said that a total of 278 candidates are in fray for 13 parliamentary constituencies of Punjab. The CEO said that there are 2,08,92,674 voters in Punjab (this figure includes 1,11,463 service voters) out of which 1,10,59,828 are male and 98,32,286 are female voters and 560 voters of third gender. Dr. Raju said that 3,94,780 voters of 18 -19 years age group will use their right to vote for first time.
The voting would be held on May 19, 2019 (Sunday) from 07.00 am to 06.00 pm. There are 23,213 polling stations in 14460 polling locations. Amongst these 249 booths are identified as Critical, 719 as Sensitive, 509 as Hyper Sensitive. As many as 12002 polling booths will be covered under web casting on polling day. Counting of votes would begin May 23rd, 2019 (Thursday) from 8:00 AM.
Since the Enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, the enforcement teams have seized cash, liquor, psychotropic substances and valuables worth Rs. 275 crore in violation of code till May 05, 2019.
Dr. Raju said that the surveillance teams had seized 12,28,781 litres of liquor worth Rs 9.1 crore. Similarly, the enforcement wings have also recovered 7,668 kg psychotropic substances amounting to Rs 212 crore and valuables like ( Gold, Silver etc) amounting to Rs. 21.95 crore besides confiscating unaccounted cash of Rs 30.99 crore, he added.
The Chief Electoral Officer revealed that 3728 persons have been identified, who can create disturbance, said he adding that out of these persons action had already been initiated against 3673 while the remaining would also be brought to book.
He informed there were 450 non bailable warrant cases under process in the state of which action had been initiated against 4523 persons under non bailable warrants after the enforcement of Model Code of Conduct.
As per the directions of the Election Commission, Dr. Raju said till date 96.4% licensed weapons had been surrendered and 124 illegal arms and 770 illegal ammunitions were also confiscated in the state. He further said that 955 complaints found correct out of 1840 complaints received on cVigil App.
Dr. Raju further said that after enforcement of model code of conduct three notices has been issued for noise pollution respectively one in Amritsar and two in Ludhiana. Apart from this under Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 special teams have been constituted to check sale/purchase of habit forming drugs, these teams have suspended two licenses, issued two show cause notice and two are under investigation.