New Delhi: Candidates contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls have to advertise their criminal antecedents in TV and newspapers at least three times during electioneering, said the Election Commission. 

This is the first time that this rule is being used, though the directions in this regard were issued on October 10, 2018. 

The general election is scheduled to start from April 11 and go on till May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.

Here are the top highlights 

1.  According to the directions, political parties too will have to give publicity to the criminal records of candidates fielded by them.

2.  This means that candidates and parties contesting the election will have to publicise their criminal records at least on three different dates in widely circulated newspapers and popular TV channels during the campaign period.

3.  Candidates who do not have records have to mention that. The candidates will now have to fill up an amended form (number 26).

4. They will have to inform parties about their antecedents such as cases in which they have been convicted and cases pending against them.

5. The parties, the EC said, will be "obliged" to put the information about the candidates on their websites.

6. Though the EC direction is silent on whether the candidates will have to pay from their pocket for the publicity, a senior functionary said since it's a poll-related expenditure, the candidates will have to bear the cost.

7.  Parties which fail to comply, face the prospects of getting their recognition withdrawn or suspended.

8.  Candidates have to submit clippings of their declaration published in papers and parties have to submit details about the number of such candidates in a state.

With PTI inputs