35 districts go to the polls today

PATNA: State Election Commissioner Asok Kumar Chauhan has appealed to people to actively lodge complaints if they come across malpractices during the urban local body (ULB) election in 35 districts of the state on Sunday.

Addressing an interactive session organised by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in Patna day before the polling, Chauhan said people could lodge their complaints with the control room at 0612- 2506994.

He said the State Election Commission (SEC), in a first, put on display information about candidates, including their educational qualification, criminal history, if any, and assets, through banners and posters at ten different places in every ward from where they were contesting election. The affidavits of the candidates have also been uploaded to the website of SEC, he said.

“We have also imparted three-day training to around 450 returning officers and assistant returning officers,” said Chauhan.

Polling has to be held in three phases for 110 ULBs, including eight municipal corporations, 38 municipal councils and 64 nagar panchayats. All the ULB, except those in Patna district, will go the polls during the first phase on May 21.

In Patna district, the election for Patna Municipal Corporation will be held on June 4 and that for other ULBs on June 7.

Altogether 72,21,780 voters will exercise their franchise at 72,989 booths falling in 2,646 wards. The votes cast during the first phase will be counted on May 23 and those cast during the second and third phases on June 9.

Candidates with criminal background: The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Saturday released its report after studying the details of 5,314 candidates who contested the Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad election from 2004 to 2014. According to the report, 32% of these candidates have criminal background. Of those who won the election, 52% had criminal charges lodged against them. The assets declared by the contestants averaged Rs 1.13 crore and the assets of those who won the election averaged Rs 2.46 crore.
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