UP Polls 2022: Candidates with Criminal Backgrounds to Speak Before Media, Voting Time to be Extended, Says EC

The Election Commission held a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday in view of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2022. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra has said that candidates with criminal backgrounds will have to broadcast in the media about the sections they are accused in and also the cases that are going on against them. He said that political parties also have to tell why they have chosen candidates with such a background.

The Election Commission said that the voting time in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be extended by one hour and now voting will be held from 8 am to 6 pm.

Speaking to the media, Chandra said, “The programme of voter registration is also going on and a lot of hard work has gone into that. The final voter list will be published on January 5.” Webcasting will be done at minimum one lakh booths so that people can see voting being done with complete transparency. At least 800 polling stations will be made in such a way that there will be only women polling officers. Apart from the EPIC card, the voter can cast his vote by showing 11 other documents. This includes documents like PAN card, Aadhar card, MNREGA card.”

Speaking further on the issue, the CEC said, “After discussion with the political parties, the situation was reviewed by meeting all the SPs DIGs and Commissioners. After this, a discussion was also held with all the nodal officers. In the end, the discussion was also done with the Chief Secretary, DGP and other officials. All the parties demanded the conduct of elections on time, following the Covid protocol. Some parties expressed concern over the rallies being held without following the Covid protocol. Till now more than 15 crore voters are registered. Even till the last date of filing of nominations, voters can claim-objection about their name in the list.”

Chandra said that for people above 80 years of age, persons with disabilities and people infected with corona who are unable to come to the polling station, the Election Commission will reach out to their doorsteps so that they can cast their vote.

Apart from this, he expressed concern over the declining polling percentage in UP.

The CEC said, “In the 2017 UP Assembly elections, 61 per cent voter turnout was recorded. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the voter turnout in UP was 59 per cent. It is a matter of concern that in a State where political awareness is high, why is the voting percentage low?”

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