Kerala EC wants photo-ID cards for local polls too
Thiruvananthapuram, May 14 (IANS) The Kerala State Election Commission (SEC) Monday decided to request the state government to amend the laws and make photo-ID cards mandatory for the electorate in the local bodies polls.
Speaking to IANS, an official attached to the state election commission said the panel would ask the state government to amend the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Municipalities Act to enforce photo-ID rule.
"The other change that will be made is that currently a violation in the model code of conduct does not have a legal back-up and hence the violators escape from the clutches of law. It has been decided to make changes to this, and similar to the action taken in assembly and parliament elections, any violation (in local bodies polls) will invite initiating of legal action," said the official, who did not wish to be identified.
Until now, people could establish their identity and cast their votes in local bodies polls using ration cards, bank pass-books, driving licences besides the photo-ID cards issued by the election commission, which are used in assembly and parliament elections.
Kerala has a three-tier structure for the local bodies and around 22,000 seats to which elections are held.
The commission also decided to ensure that electronic voting machines would used in as many booths as possible.
The state panel's recommendations will now be forwarded to the state government who will put this up before the Kerala assembly. As and when the act is amended, it would become a law.
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