Municipal polls: SEC to revive nominations withdrawn under force

The SEC said there was a need to re-look at the nominations that were filed but were withdrawn due to duress or inducements.

The State Election Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar has decided to take a fresh look at what he called “unnatural” withdrawal of nominations filed by contestants in the fray for municipal elections, the process for which was started in May last year.

In a statement on Tuesday, the SEC said there was a need to re-look at the nominations that were filed but were withdrawn due to duress or inducements, in the wake of the many representations/complaints received by the Commission on the issue, especially on account of the High Court judgement given on February 12 this year to check poll aberrations and the reservoir of powers that rest with the Commission to check them. “One specific area is in case of Municipal elections, the phenomenon of forced withdrawals due to duress and inducements. Where no nominations are filed at all is a different situation,” he pointed out.

The SEC said the Commission would reconsider afresh forced withdrawals and revive them. “If anyone who has a reason to state that he/she was compelled to withdraw nomination will now be revived,” he said, adding that the candidate would have to come forward and state so.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar said all Returning Officers of Municipal Corporations and Election Officers of Municipalities /Nagar Panchayats had been asked to report to him cases of candidates coming forward with complaints of coercive and forced withdrawal of candidatures to enable the Commission take decision on revival of such candidatures.

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