EC diktat for code of conduct

Bhubaneswar: The state election commission today sent strong directives to all district collectors for strong implementation of the code of conduct by the candidates during the panchayat polls and asked the panchayat level candidates for not using the names of the political parties during campaigning. The commission too has issued order for filing of nominations from today till January 22 in such areas where candidates could not file nominations for various reasons.

The election commission has asked the candidates for posts of sarpanches, samiti members and ward members not to pose themselves as candidates of any political party during campaigning. The commission has asked the candidates not to print party names and symbols on pushing cards and banners and posters. The senior leaders of political parties too have asked not to openly support candidates. The secretary of the commision Muralidhar Barik said that the commission issued the guidelines after several such instances were brought to the notice of the agency.

Meanwhile, a lady sarpanch candidate under Riamal block of Deogarh district today withdrew her candidature after seeing Maoist posters on the walls of her house. Maoist fear has gripped several parts of districts affected by naxal menace. While there were no ward member candidates in 971 wards in Sundergarh district, the number stood at 652 in Koraput district. Likewise, 364 wards in Malkangiri, 737 wards in Rayagada and 377 wards in Sambalpur districts drew blanks due to Maoist fear. In Narayanpatna, only Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh supported candidates were reportedly in the fray.