HYDERABAD: The State Election Commission (SEC) has increased the number of star campaigners from 5 to 10 for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. This comes in the wake of pleas by political parties seeking the SEC to increase the number of star campaigners for the ensuing elections.
According to the SEC's revised order, the Election Commission can permit/accord star campaigner status to 10 persons for recognised political parties registered with the TSEC and five persons in case of registered parties that are without reserved symbol.
The parties should submit the list of star campaigners along with their bio-data and also a copy of the individual’s identity card (one of those notified by the SEC for the purpose of identification of voters) to the GHMC commissioner and election authority marking a copy to SEC within three days of issuance of election notification.
The GHMC commissioner and election authority are authorised to issue vehicle permission to the star campaigners furnished by the political parties. The permission will be given in the name of the star campaigners and the registration number of the vehicle and the period for which the permit is issued and area of operation.
The permit may be issued in the format annexed to the notification on a square-shaped sticker with suitable adhesive. An attested copy of the permit shall be prominently displayed on the windscreen of the vehicle and the original be kept by the person for checking by police or any other authorities.
Surveillance teams should also be informed about such vehicle permissions issued to the star campaigner of a political party for the purpose of accounting of expenditure either on behalf of the party or the contestant. Travel expenditure of the star campaigners will be borne by the concerned political party.
In the event of a public rally or meeting by the star campaigner, if the candidate or his election agent shares the dais with the star campaigner/ other dignitary, then the entire expenditure of that particular rally other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner should be added to the candidate's expenses.
If the candidate is not present on the dais but the banners/posters with name of the candidate or photographs of the candidate are displayed at the site of pubic rally or the name of the candidate is mentioned by the dignitary/star campaigner, then also the entire expenditure on the public rally, other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner, will be added to the candidate's account of election expenses.
If there is more than one candidate/election agent, sharing the dais or displaying banners or posters with their names in rally/meeting, then the expenses on such a rally/meeting should be equally divided among all such candidates.