Election Commission of India announces Schedule for the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, 2018.

Election Commission of India announces Schedule for the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, 2018.

Election Commission of India announces Schedule for the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, 2018.
March 27
15:39 2018

The term of the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka is normally due to expire on 28.05.2018. By virtue of its powers, duties and functions under Article 324 read with Article 172(1) of the Constitution of India and Section 15 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Election Commission of India is required to hold general election to constitute the new Legislative Assembly in the State of Karnataka before expiry of its present term.
Schedule of Election:
The Commission has prepared the Schedules for holding General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka after taking into consideration all relevant aspects like climatic conditions, academic calendar, major festivals, prevailing law and order situation in the State, availability of Central Police Forces, time needed for movement, transportation and timely deployment of forces and in-depth assessment of other relevant ground realities.
The Commission after considering all relevant aspects has decided to recommend to the Governor of the State of Karnataka to issue notifications for the General Elections under the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, as per the Schedule given below
Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, 2018:

Poll Events Schedule

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 17.04.2018 (TUE)

Last Date of Nominations 24.04.2018 (TUE)

Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 25.04.2018 (WED)

Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 27.04.2018 (FRI)

Date of Poll 12.05.2018 (SAT)

Date of Counting 15.05.2018 (TUE)

Date before which election shall be 18.05.2018 (FRI)

Special Arrangement For Women:

All-Women Managed Polling Stations: As part of its firm commitment towards gender equality and greater constructive participation of women in the electoral process, the Commission has also directed that, to the extent possible, ‘All- women Managed Polling Stations’ shall be set up in one polling station for each Assembly Constituency where the entire polling staff, including the police and security personnel, shall be women. Total 224 Women managed Polling Stations will be setup for the entire state of Karnataka for the first time.

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs):

EVMs & VVPATs shall be used in all the polling stations of all the Karnataka to enhance the transparency and credibility of the election. The Commission has already made arrangements to ensure availability of adequate number of EVMs and VVPATs for the smooth conduct of election. The First Level Check of EVMs and VVPATs has been completed in the presence of representatives of political parties. A two-stage randomization of EVMs and VVPATs will also be done. In the first stage, all the EVMs and VVPATs stored in the district EVM warehouse will be randomized by the District Election Officer (DEO) in the presence of the representatives of the recognized political parties for Assembly Constituency-wise allocation. Second randomization of EVMs and VVPATs will be done at RO level before candidate setting of EVMs and VVPATs for polling station-wise allocation. This is done in the presence of General Observer of Election Commission of India, contesting candidates/their agents. This process will be carried out after finalization of the contesting candidates. At this stage also, candidates or their agents/representatives will be allowed to check and satisfy themselves in every manner about the error-free functionality of the EVMs and VVPATs. On a pilot basis, VVPAT from One (1) Polling Station in each Assembly Constituency will be randomly selected by the Returning Officer by Draw of Lot in presence of all candidates to count VVPAT paper slips for verification of the result obtained from the Control Unit. Thus, paper slip for one polling station in each Assembly Constituency will be counted in Karnataka.
VVPATs will be used along with EVMs in all polling stations of all the 224 Assembly Constituencies of poll going state of Karnataka to enhance the transparency and credibility of the election. A comprehensive SVEEP programme has already been launched in Karnataka to increase voters’ awareness and education about the VVPATs.

Model Code of Conduct:
The Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately from now onwards. All the provisions of the Model Code will apply to the whole of Karnataka and will be applicable to all candidates, political parties and, the State Government of Karnataka. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government insofar as announcements/policy decisions pertaining to/for this State is concerned.
The Commission has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of the MCC Guidelines. Any violations of these Guidelines would be strictly dealt with and the Commission re-emphasizes that the instructions issued in this regard from time to time should be read and understood by all Political Parties, contesting candidates and their agents/representatives, to avoid any misgivings or lack of information or inadequate understanding/interpretation. The government of the poll-bound State has also been directed to ensure that no misuse of official machinery/position is done during the MCC period.
The Commission has also issued instructions for swift, effective and stringent action for enforcement of Model Code of Conduct during the first 72 hours of announcement of the election schedule and also for maintaining extra vigilance and strict enforcement action in the Last 72 hours prior to the close of polls. These instructions have been issued in the form of Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) for compliance by the field election machinery.

Election Expenditure Monitoring:

Some new initiatives taken by the Commission to strengthen the Expenditure Monitoring mechanism are:
Standard Operating Procedure for Seizure and release of cash:
For the purpose of maintaining purity of elections, the Election Commission of India has issued the Standard Operating Procedure for Flying Squads and Static Surveillance Teams, constituted for keeping vigil over excessive campaign expenses, distribution of items of bribe in cash or in kind, movement of illegal arms, ammunition, liquor, or antisocial elements etc. in the constituencies during election process.

Accounting of the expenditure incurred for campaign vehicles – on the basis of permissions granted:
It has come to the notice of the Commission that the candidates take permission from the Returning Officer for use of vehicles for campaign purpose, but some candidates do not show the vehicle hiring charges or fuel expenses in their election expenditure account. Therefore, it has been decided that unless the candidate intimates the R.O. for withdrawing the permission, the notional expenditure on account of campaign vehicles will be calculated based on the number of vehicles for which permissions is granted by the Returning Officer.
Account Reconciliation Meeting:
In order to reduce litigation relating to expenditure accounts, a reconciliation meeting will be convened by the DEOs before final submission of the accounts, on the 26th day after the declaration of the results.
All expenditure incurred by those candidates, their party agents or party leaders on their travel, boarding, lodging etc. who travel to overseas countries for the purpose of canvassing in their favour to seek votes of overseas electors residing there, would be deemed to be the expenditure incurred or authorized by the candidates in connection with their election and will have to be included in their account of election expenses. Moreover, any inducement to overseas electors by way of air tickets or any other allurements to them, in cash or kind, to come to India for the purpose of voting at the election would amount to the electoral offence of ‘bribery’ within the meaning of section 171B of the IPC as also the corrupt practice of ‘Bribery’ within the meaning of section 123(1) of the R.P. Act, 1951.

Expenditure incurred on candidates’ Booth/(Kiosk) and on TV/Cable Channel / Newspaper owned by party for promoting the electoral prospects of the candidate in the account of the candidate:
The Commission, on further examination of the relevant provisions of section 77(1) of the R. P. Act, 1951, had decided that the candidates’ booths set up outside the polling stations should hereinafter be deemed to have been set up by the candidates as part of their individual campaign and not by way of general party propaganda and as such all expenditure incurred on such candidates’ booths shall be deemed to have been incurred/authorized by the candidate/his election agent so as to be included in his account of election expenses.

Ceiling Of Election Expenses For Candidates:
The election expenses ceiling for candidates has been revised by the Government of India vide Notification dated 28th February, 2014. As per the revised ceilings, the maximum limit of election expenses for the Assembly Constituencies is Rs. 28 lakh per candidate for the state of Karnataka. All candidates are required to furnish their accounts of expenditure within 30 days of declaration of results.

Final Accounts By Political Parties:
All Political Parties sponsoring candidates for the Legislative Assembly elections are required to maintain day-to-day accounts of all election campaign expenses and submit the accounts to the Commission within 75 days of the completion of such elections. Such accounts will be uploaded on the website of the Commission for public viewing.


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