EC to Keep Close Watch on Poll Spending - The New Indian Express

EC to Keep Close Watch on Poll Spending

Published: 13th March 2014 09:14 AM

Last Updated: 13th March 2014 09:53 AM

Political parties and candidates in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will have to be extra cautious over complying with the expenditure norms as the Election Commission (EC) has started an extensive exercise to monitor the poll spend across districts and constituencies in the State.

 Each and every step __ from campaigning, rallies, meetings to movement of vehicles, publicity and distribution of election materials __ would be under the commission’s radar from State to the booth-level. While Election Expenditure Monitoring Cells will be opened in every district to keep track of expenses by the candidates, they will be complemented by flying squads, static surveillance teams, video surveillance team and other grassroots-level monitoring committees. The maximum expenditure limit fixed for a candidate for Lok Sabha polls is `70 lakh and `28 lakh for MLA seat. The candidates are required to not only keep their expenses within the limit, but also to submit accounts of expenditure to the commission on a daily basis. As many as 30 senior IT and Indian Revenue Services officers will be appointed as election expenditure observers in every district in addition to the monitoring cell functioning under ADM ranked officers.

 Around 441 flying squads would be deployed in the Assembly constituencies. Comprising a senior magistrate, a police officer and a videographer, the squads will conduct raids on the basis of information on intimidation, bribery, illegal transport of money, liquor, etc. and take necessary action.

 Movement of vehicles for campaigning as well as allied electioneering activities would also be kept under strict watch with around 441 static surveillance teams formed to set up checkposts and subject them to scrutiny. They will have the power to stop and check any vehicle suspected of foul-play. The violators would be immediately reported and action initiated against them.

Additional chief electoral officer (CEO) Hariballav Mishra also said all processions, rallies, and meeting of the political parties would be video recorded covering all aspects from the crowds and facilities provided. The recordings will be examined for code of conduct violations.

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