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PUNJAB CEO INSTRUCTS ALL DCS, CPS AND SSPS TO ENSURE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD AND SECURITY OF CANDIDATES DURING CAMPAIGN PERIOD


Chandigarh: In order to conduct free and fair elections in view of the Lok Sabha elections 2024, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sibin C instructed all Deputy Commissioners-cum-District Election Officers, Commissioners of Police, and Senior Superintendents of Police on Thursday to ensure a level playing field for all candidates and their security. The CEO stressed that ensuring the security of candidates is one of the primary responsibilities of the district election machinery and the Election Commission of India is serious about this matter.

In a circular issued to the officers, the CEO said that it has come to his attention that numerous incidents have been reported from various parts of the state. These incidents, highlighted through various complaints and reports in the media, involving political party candidates being obstructed by agitating farmers, thereby impeding the candidates' democratic right to campaign and convey their manifesto to the citizens of the state. Such actions go against the directions and guidelines of the ECI.

The CEO further said that it has been observed that gatherings by protesting farmers are often held without permissions, despite orders by the District Magistrates under Sec 144 CRPC and loudspeakers are also used without permission.

As outlined by the ECI, the CEO said that ensuring the security of candidates and adhering to its guidelines is essential to providing a level playing field for all candidates through fair campaigning.

Sibin C reiterated that it is the duty of all district election machinery to follow these guidelines and ensure their implementation in the field. No one should be allowed to take the law into their hands.

The CEO directed all officers to implement these direction in letter and spirit and if any such incidence noticed will be viewed seriously and brought to the notice of ECI.

Meanwhile, a delegation of farmers met with the Punjab CEO at his office. During the meeting, the CEO urged the farmers' unions to maintain law and order and refrain from disrupting the campaigns of contesting candidates across the state.

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