- NOW, BACKGROUND & CRIMINAL RECORD OF CONTESTING CANDIDATES JUST A CLICK AWAY: DR. S. KARUNA RAJU

- ECI launches 'Know Your Candidate' app to provide particulars and criminal antecedents of all candidates for electors

Chandigarh, January 22:After making it mandatory for political parties to publish why candidate with criminal record selected for election, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched a mobile application 'Know Your Candidate' for electors to know the particulars and criminal antecedents of any candidate, informed Dr. S Karuna Raju, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Punjab on Saturday.

Urging the voters of the state to download the app, Dr. Raju said that the app has been developed to provide wide publicity and greater awareness regarding criminal antecedents of contesting candidates to ensure transparent election. This app can be downloaded from Google play store and Apple App store and the link is also available on the Commission's website.

Directing the Returning Officers to ensure that the right document is uploaded on the app, the CEO asked them to select the checkbox 'Yes' or 'No' for Candidate Criminal Antecedent and upload the scanned document submitted by candidate in Encore offline nomination. Criminal antecedents as the same gets public visibility through KYC (Know Your Candidate) App. Returning Officer also needs to re-verify and ensure that the checkbox is marked appropriately as "Yes" or "No" as per the details submitted by the candidate.

Informing about other novel initiatives of the ECI by initiating many mobile voter friendly apps, Dr. S. Karuna Raju said that one of the App launched by ECI is Suvidha App, a single window system for both candidates and political parties to apply for permissions before conducting meetings, rallies, etc. This can also be done through the Android app.

Another important app is cVIGIL which provides time-stamped, evidence-based proof of the Model Code of Conduct / Expenditure Violathaving live photo/video with auto location data. Any citizen can lodge a complaint through the Mobile App. Flying Squads then investigate the matter and the Returning Officer takes the decision within 100 minutes.

Another new Android-based mobile app called ‘Voter Helpline ’ has also been launched, said the CEO while adding that this App provides convenience to all citizens for finding their names in the electoral roll, submitting online forms, checking the status of the application, filing complaints and receiving the reply on their mobile app besides knowing the contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers, by using the Voter Helpline Mobile App or through www.nvsp.in Portal or by calling 1950 Helpline Number.

The CEO also divulged that ‘PwD App’ has also been launched to enable Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) to request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application was also launched. By simply entering their contact details, the Booth Level Officer is assigned to provide a doorstep facility. PwDs can also request for a wheelchair during polling.

===================================

ECI extends ban on physical rallies and road shows till January 31, 2022

- Relaxation for Physical public meetings of Political parties or contesting candidates for Phase 1 allowed from January 28, 2022 and for Phase 2 from February 1, 2022

- Limit of 5 persons for door to door campaign enhanced to 10 persons

Video vans for publicity permitted at designated open spaces with COVID restrictions

=================================

Big -haul of 2718 cases of liquor found stored in unauthorized place unearthed by Excise Department in Patiala

Chandigarh, January 22:The Excise Department in a joint operation with the Police authorities raided and searched the premises of the licensee Manju Singla holding Retail license for Group-18 of Patiala City.

The authorities acted on a tip-off that the said licensee is storing some unauthorized stock of liquor in its residential house which is located near to their Lahori Gate Vend.

The entire operation was carried out in a well coordinated manner under Excise Commissioner Rajat Agarwal, SSP Patiala Dr. Sandeep Garg and supervision of Joint Commissioner (Excise) Naresh Dubey, A.I.G. (Excise) Harmeet Singh Hundal Deputy Commissioner Excise, Patiala Zone Rajpal Khaira, S.P. (City) Harpal Singh, D.S.P. City-1 Ashok Kumar Sharma and Assistant Commissioner Excise Patiala Range Inderjit Singh Nagpal along with the team of Patiala Excise Office.

Giving the details, Excise Commissioner informed that the Excise department has once again tightened the nose on persons involved in smuggling and selling non duty paid liquor in Punjab.

Pointing out further, Rajat Agarwal said that immediately acting on the tip-off, the team of Special Operation Group of Excise Department swung into action. During the course of search it was found that three persons namely Lalit Singla S/o Gian Chand Singla, Keshav Singla S/o Varinder Kumar R/o Sarai Albel Singh Lahori Gate, Patiala (who are family members of the Licensee) and their Partner Umesh Sharma, are involved in storing liquor at unauthorized places which are situated inside their residential premises.

During the course of search, as many as 2718 Cases of liquor were found stored in different places which were not authorized for storage. Out of 2718 Cases, 428 bottles of Bio Brands were found without holograms, 1009 cases of Beer and 493 cases of PML were found and 1180 cases of IMFL were found, added Agarwal.

The department had registered a FIR No.16 Dated 21-01-2022 against the three accused in PS Lahori Gate.

The Excise Commissioner reiterated that since the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in view of the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha Elections 2022, and in compliance with the directions given by the Election Commission of India, the department has taken action against smuggling of liquor or any illegal activity related to excise.

He further appealed to the people to bring to the notice of the department any activity related to illegal manufacturing, distillation, smuggling and storage of liquor throughout the State at the Complaint Cell No. 98759-61126, so that the Elections can be conducted in a free and fair manner.