Additional chief electoral officer (CEO) R Lakshmanan on Saturday instructed all district electoral officers-cum-district magistrates to ensure prohibition of smoking at booths since they are public places. Section 4 of COTPA, it may be mentioned, bans smoking at public places and provides for imposition of a fine of Rs 200 on the law violator.
Deepak Mishra, executive director of SEEDS, had last week submitted a memorandum to the CEO office in this regard. He said, “This is a novel move as over 6 crore electors will be educated in one go about the ill-effects of tobacco.” The CEO office has instructed officials to display posters of 60cmX30cm size containing information about the booth being the smokeless zone at all the polling booths.
Meanwhile, a CEO office release said a sum of over Rs 50 lakh was seized by flying squads, static surveillance teams and police officials during raids conducted so far since the enforcement of the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections.
More than 50,000 litres of liquor were also seized by the officials till Friday while over 200 FIRs were lodged in connection with the violation of the model code. Altogether 40 vehicles, 39 weapons and 13 mobiles were confiscated by the police teams while 46 people were arrested.
The notification for election to parliamentary seats of Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur and Banka and assembly seats of Kochadhaman (Kishanganj) and Baisi (Purnia) were issued by the office of CEO on Saturday. These constituencies will go the polls on April 24. The last date for filing nominations for these LS seats is April 5.
Altogether 13,672 persons were bound by the state police under the CrPC while 1,449 non-bailable warrants were executed. Over 100 hamlets were identified as vulnerable while over 500 persons were identified as probable sources of trouble by the cops on Saturday. A total of 28 cases were lodged as part of the enforcement of model code of conduct.
With Saturday being the last date for withdrawal of candidature from constituencies going to the polls on April 17, the EC issued the final list of candidates left in the fray. The highest number of 22 candidates are in Nalanda while 20 are in Pataliputra, 19 in Patna Sahib, 16 in Buxar, 15 in Jehanabad, 13 in Munger and 12 candidates are Ara.