EC: Candidates must publicise criminal background thrice

New Delhi, September 11 (IANS):The Election Commission (EC) on Friday decided that candidates as well as political parties will publish details of criminal antecedents, if any, in newspapers and television thrice, regarding candidates nominated by them.

Articulating the specific manner in which it needs to be done, the EC stated that the first publicity needs to be done within the first four days of the last date of withdrawal of candidature, while the second publicity must be done within the fifth to eighth day of the last date of withdrawal. Meanwhile, the poll body has also asserted that there needs to be a third publicity as well from the ninth day till the last day of campaign which is two days prior to the date of polling.

This timeline, the EC believes, will help voters exercise their choices in a more informed manner. "This will help in creating more awareness amongst the voters and other stakeholders," says the EC.

Making its position clearer, the EC also stated that even those candidates, as well as the political parties who nominate them, will have to follow the same rules even if the candidate wins uncontested.

Explaining the poll body's strict emphasis on adherence, it said in a statement, "[The] Commission has always emphasised on this moral yardstick for overall betterment of electoral democracy".

These modified instructions will be applied with immediate effect, said the EC on Friday.