Election Commission planning to bring back ballot paper

Election Commission planning to bring back ballot paper
Highlights

MES candidates who filed their nominations are from surrounding villages that are opposing the Centre’s Ring Road project.

In Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency, if more than 64 candidates remain in the fight after scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations, the Election Commission is considering using old-fashioned ballot papers. Till the last day of filing nominations, officials received as many as 76 nominations from 67 candidates. A midst them are 48 Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti (MES) members who plan to contest as independents. MES wanted to field 101 candidates from the constituency, but could not make it due to a dispute between its two factions on Thursday.

At every polling booth there is a provision to use four electronic voting machines (EVMs), said the sources in the Election Commission. Which means that the names of 64 candidates can be adjusted in four EVMs as each EVM can accommodate names of 16 candidates. On the other hand, the EC must use ballot paper, if the number exceeds 64. Sources said the Election Commission has decided to use ballot papers in one constituency in Telangana which has 118 candidates in the fray.

MES leaders were unsuccessful in gathering the 101 candidates it had proclaimed they would field from Belagavi. 46 are not even the residents of Belagavi city, out of the 48 candidates. Mostly, MES candidates who filed their nominations are from surrounding villages that are opposing the Centre's Ring Road project. Most of them may lose their land for the project.

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