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GHMC polls: Candidates cannot spend more than Rs 5L towards election expenditure

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Hyderabad: Elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Council will be held on December 1, and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 4.

Voting will be on ballot papers and no electronic voting machines will be used, State Election Commissioner V. Parthasarathi announced on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference, Parthasarathi said with the announcement of the election schedule, the model code of conduct came into immediate effect in the GHMC limits.

The term of the GHMC Council ends on February 10, 2020. As per the law, elections for a new Council can be held at any time three months before the expiry of the term of the Council.

Parthasarathi said nominations from candidates for the 150 wards in the GHMC will be accepted from Wednesday. While November 20 is the last date for filing of nominations, their scrutiny has been scheduled for November 21. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is November 24, he said.

The State Election Commissioner said the reservations that were in force during the last GHMC elections in 2016, will continue this time around. “The decision on reservations of wards is up to the state government,” he said, adding that the voter lists for the December 1 polling will be based on the lists used for the last Legislative Assembly elections.

Anyone who attains the age of 18 years as on January 1, 2020, will be eligible to exercise their right to vote in the civic body elections. Of the 74,04,400 electors in the GHMC limits, 52.09 per cent are men, 47.90 per cent women, he said.

The security deposit for candidates from the general category will be Rs 5,000, and Rs 2,500 for candidates from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and Backward Class communities. Nominations, Parthasarathi, said can be filed online by the candidates.

No candidate can spend more than Rs 5 lakh towards election expenditure including campaigning costs and the expenditure details must be filed with the SEC within 45 days after the declaration of results. Failure to do so, Parthasarathi said, can result in disqualification of the candidate for three years.

While 48,000 polling personnel are expected to be deployed for polling and election related duties, anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 police personnel are expected to be pressed into service for security and bandobast duties. Special checkposts and pickets will be set up and rowdy sheeters will be bound over, he said.

The sale of liquor in the GHMC limits will not be allowed beginning 48 hours before the start of polling on December 1, he said.

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