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Centre rejects EC’s proposal on barring candidates with unpaid bills

assembly elections

New Delhi: The government has rejected a proposal by the Election Commission (EC) to bar those who have not paid dues such as government house rent and power bill from contesting elections.

The election regulator had written to the Law Ministry, asking it to amend election laws to include not clearing dues of public utilities as a reason for disqualification from contesting Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

According to the EC, a part of the Representation of the People Act that deals with electoral offences will have to be amended to bar candidates. A new clause will have to be inserted for disqualification “on the ground of being a defaulter of public dues”.

Based on the judgement, the Election Commission recently made it a must for poll candidates to give no-dues certificate from agencies providing electricity, water and telephone connections to their homes.

In the recent assembly polls, some candidates could not file nominations as they had not provided no-dues certificates, the then Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said.

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