Rs 20 lakh compensation to poll officials who die in violence

New Delhi: Election Commission on Wednesday directed all state governments to provide an ex-gratia payment of a minimum of Rs 10 to the next of kin of poll officials who die in the line of duty and Rs 20 lakh if the death is caused by violence.
The amount will be Rs 20 lakh if the poll official is killed in a violent incident such as ambush, landmine blast or bomb blast, EC said in its directive to Chief Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers.
In case any official deployed for election duty suffers permanent disability, including severing of limb or loss of eyesight, he or she will be provided with a minimum ex-gratia of Rs five lakh.
If the disability is a result of terror strike or violent incident, the minimum amount would be Rs 10 lakh.
The EC revised the slabs of ex-gratia payment following demands in this regard.
Often, harsh weather and terrorist incidents take a toll on poll officials.
The poll body also reiterated its earlier order that video conferencing between officials and Union and state ministers will remain suspended during the period of the Model Code.
Referring to specific requests, EC said in case of a natural calamity, the CM of a concerned state can hold a video conference with the district magistrate concerned after obtaining permission of local poll authorities.
The government will also have to provide the state poll body with a copy of the CD of the video conferencing.
In a separate directive, EC said during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force, all references of ministers, politicians or political parties available on official websites will be removed.