Besides portrait shots for posters, blown up profiles for banners and cutouts for hoardings, candidates will have to get several latest passport size photos made this 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections.

The requirement has emerged with Election Commission of India (ECI) amending the format of nomination forms to be filled by each candidate. The size and type of the photograph has also been prescribed, which is 2 by 2.5 centimeters in white / off white background with a full face view.

"Two changes have been made by the ECI following recommendations from ministry of law and justice. Inclusion of certified photo of the candidate is the first change while declaration of citizenship is another," said an officer at the office of Chief Electoral Officer, (CEO) UP.

Duly notified orders, which are meant for all states except Assam, Arunanchal Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Puducherry, have been issued to district electoral officers.

The order stated that legislative department; ministry of law and justice has amended the conduct of election rules 1961. By this amendment, the forms of nomination papers have been amended to make provisions for furnishing photograph of candidates. Also, with the nomination form, declaration regarding citizenship of the candidate will also be required.

Officials associated with the electoral process said that the photograph on nomination papers will help in weeding out dummy candidates to some extent. "The photographs would be matched at the time of scrutiny," said one of them.

Experts however differed. Founder Association of Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, Anil Verma said, "The proposed electoral reform of having photos of candidates on the electronic voting machines is a better idea. This would empower voters to decide whenever there two candidates have the same name."

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