Panaji, Dec 22: Political parties will now have to specify the reason for fielding a candidate with a criminal background for the 2022 state Assembly polls, Chief Election Commission Sushil Chandra said on Wednesday.
Chandra said that the norm was not enforced strictly earlier, but in wake of a Supreme Court directive, the top official said that the norm would be strictly enforced.
“Parties having to declare to the public why they are choosing candidates with criminal antecedents They will have to state on their website, to the public. We have chosen so and so… these are his criminal antecedents and we are selecting him for these, these reasons and we couldn’t find anyone in that area who is more so and so and so,” Chandra told a press conference in Panaji.
“This was happening earlier also but it was not enforced very strictly. In the past political parties gave reasons like they (the candidate) has done a lot of social work in that area and that is why we have put them,” he also said.
An Election Commission of India team led by Chandra is in Goa to review preparatory work for the upcoming polls which are scheduled to be held early next year.
“The Supreme Court asked to give the reasons and the elector can also understand the reasons why the party gave the candidate. Ultimately, the party chooses the candidate but the final result is in your hand, the voter. We will be strict and when the elections are announced, we will launch an app,” Chandra said.