The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday asked the Jalandhar district election officers to ensure the prohibition on poll campaign before 48 hours of Shahkot bypoll.

As per the rules, the poll campaign should come to an end by 5 p.m. on 26 May for Shahkot bypoll to be held on 28 May.

Giving details on this, Chief Electoral Officer Punjab, Dr S Karuna Raju said that the guidelines have been issued in accordance with the provisions enacted in the Section 126 Representation of Peoples’ Act 1951.

According to the guidelines the ongoing campaigning in Shahkot Assembly constituencies bypoll would come to an end 48 hours prior to the polling date.

Subsequently, all the political leaders, functionaries or party workers who are not the registered voters will have to vacate the constituency within this period, said Dr Raju.

Necessary guidelines have been issued to the police and civil administration to Jalandhar to ensure that the outsiders who are not required leave immediately, added Dr Raju.

All the political parties have also been properly informed on this issue so that the ECI directive could strictly inforced, said Dr Raju.

The Commission has also directed the election and police administration to keep a close check on the community centres, guest houses and lodges so that the outsiders, if any, could be kept housed without causing any disturbance during the electoral process. The Identity cards of those who stay there in the constituency would also be checked, he added.

He also said that the administration has been asked to ensure all those who have been under security cover could remain there in the constituency, in which they are the registered voters, till the poll day.

The ECI has also imposed complete prohibition on broadcasting or propagating election-related material on television, radio or even newspapers.

Any such material influencing the voters would not be permissible during the 48 hours before the poll, he said.

However, any advertisement being published in the newspapers on 27 and 28 May requires prior permission or certification from the ECI, added Dr Raju.