Election contestants’ criminal antecedents will have to be published in print and electronic media at least three times before polls, announced the Election Commission.

The candidates and political parties will have to publish details of contestants’ criminal antecedents in newspapers and on television first within the first four days of the last date of withdrawal of nominations, the Election Commission decided at a meeting here on Friday.

In a statement the Commission said that the second publicity for criminal antecedents has to be within five to eight days of the last date of withdrawal of nominations while the third publicity should be from the ninth day till the last day of campaigning, which happens two days before voting day.

The modified instructions come into immediate effect, the Commission said in the statement.

It will apply to the Bihar Assembly polls and bypolls for 64 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat, all of which will be held together.

The Commission is yet to announce the dates for all these elections but has made it clear that they will be held before end-November when the term of the current Bihar Assembly lapses.