PANAJI: The chief electoral officer for Goa and the district returning officers need to conduct “earnest” scrutiny of the documents submitted by candidates for the Panaji bypolls to ensure that discrepancies are avoided, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a letter to the three officers on Thursday.
The ADR pointed out that several discrepancies were found in the affidavits submitted by candidates for the April 23 elections, including failure to submit tax returns for five years. The ADR also submitted a list of all the discrepancies.

The ADR cited the example of Pandurang Dhavalikar who has not given current market prices of his immovable assets as made mandatory by the Election Commission of India.
It also said that candidates with criminal antecedents have not followed the Supreme Court guidelines of September 25, 2018, making it mandatory to issue advertisements in prominent newspapers on three different days from the date of filing nomination.

Candidates with criminal antecedents will be contesting the Panaji byelections, the ADR said.
“We will appreciate if you can go through the affidavits in all earnest so that such discrepancies are ironed out during forthcoming elections, beginning with scrutiny of affidavits of candidates for Panaji byelection scheduled for May 19,” Goa state coordinator for ADR Bhasker Assoldekar said.

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