The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday has decided to reschedule the General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Punjab, informed Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju, while addressing a press conference at his office.As per the re-schedule issued by the ECI, Dr Raju said that the issue of the notification will be on January 25, 2022 and last date of making Nominations would be February 1, 2022, while scrutiny of nominations would be done on February 2, 2022. The date of withdrawal of candidature has been fixed on February 4, 2022. The date for polling has been fixed on February 20, 2022, whereas, counting will be done on March 10, 2022, he added.The Press Note released by the ECI reads, "Commission has received several representations from State Government, Political Parties and other organizations drawing attention regarding movement of a large number of devotees from Punjab to Varanasi for participation in Sri Guru Ravidas Ji Jayanti celebrations, which is observed on 16th February 2022.
They have also brought to the notice that a large number of devotees start moving for Varanasi around a week before the day of celebration and keeping the poll day on 14th February 2022 will deprive a large number of electors from voting. In view of this, they have requested to shift the poll date a few days after 16th February 2022. The Commission has also taken inputs from the State Government and Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab in this regard." "After considering these new facts emerging out of these representations, inputs from the State Government and Chief Electoral Officer, past precedence and all facts and circumstances in the matter, now Commission has decided to reschedule the General Elections to Legislative Assembly of Punjab," the press note further reads.Answering a media query on the requirement of pre-certification of social media campaigning content from Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), Dr Raju said that Social Media is no different from the General Media and same rules will be applied to run any political campaign on social media.In another query on deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), Dr Raju said that they have demanded 1050 companies of CAPF from the ECI.
He said that 50 companies of CAPF have already been deployed.Giving details about the deposition of licensed weapons, Dr Raju said that of total 3.9 lakh licensed weapons in the state over 3.3 lakh weapons have been deposited till date, which is 86.5%.On seizures, he said that various enforcement teams have seized valuables worth Rs 42.94 crores in violation of Model Code of Conduct till January 16, 2022. The surveillance teams have seized 5.44 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 1.54 crore, recovered psychotropic substances amounting to Rs 40.82 crores besides confiscating unaccounted cash of Rs 16 lakhs, he added.The Chief Electoral Officer revealed that as many as 1076 highly vulnerable hamlets have been identified. Besides this, 2250 persons have been identified as probable sources of trouble, he said adding that out of these persons preventive action had already been initiated against 979 persons while the remaining would also be brought to book. He also informed that from a security point of view preventive measures had been taken against 148 persons. He informed that as many as 2103 cases of non-bailable warrants have been executed, while execution in 231 cases is under process. As many as 4979 nakas are operational across the State, he added.