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Officials on alert as paid news haunts Chhattisgarh local body polls

Authorities receive several complaints in just 4 days; in Raipur alone, notices served to six candidates for suspected paid news

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

Women voters show their fingers marked with indelible ink after casting vote during the first phase of the general elections, at Umpher in Ri-Bhoi district

is emerging as a big challenge for the authorities in the local body election in Chhattisgarh.

The state goes to the polls on December 21 and the counting of votes will take place on December 24. The election will be held for 10 municipal corporations, 39 municipalities and 103 Nagar panchayats besides 2,840 wards. The campaign picked up after the withdrawal of names on December 9.

Authorities have received a number of complaints about in a span of just four days. “In the limits of Raipur district alone, notices have been served to six candidates for suspected paid news,” district administration spokesperson said. Most of the items carried the headline: Candidate getting huge response during campaign,” he added.

A spokesperson of the state election commission said a monitoring cell had been set up at district and divisional levels. Hence, state-level data on could not be compiled. But reports reaching from different districts underlined that the issue was posing a big challenge for the authorities. The officials in each district were keeping a close watch on the reports appearing in the media.

Unlike past polls, the local body election in Chhattisgarh this year has become crucial as corporators will be electing the Mayor, as opposed to the earlier in which people chose the Mayor. The corporator enjoying majority support among the elected members would become the First Citizen of the city.

The process had propelled many heavyweights to contest the ward corporator election that was politically considered comparatively low-key. The big guns in the fray were pulling all the strings to sway the voters.

First Published: Fri, December 13 2019. 16:51 IST