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Money & muscle power put under the lens: CEO Nitin Khade

CEO Nitin Khade has reiterated that the misuse of money, muscle and liquor will be under strict vigil in the run-up to and during the elections in the State.

Money & muscle power put under the lens: CEO Nitin Khade

File Image/ Nitin Khade

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 March 2021 1:49 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) Nitin Khade has reiterated that the misuse of money, muscle and liquor will be under strict vigil in the run-up to and during the Assembly elections in the State.

Accompanied by other officers of the State Election Department, the CEO addressed representatives of political parties and also the media at an awareness programme on the general election, here on Monday.

Khade said, "The expenditure limit of each candidate has been fixed at Rs 30.80 lakh. To monitor expenditure, the Election Commission will send senior officers as 'Expenditure Observers'.

"Apart from them, each LAC (Legislative Assembly Constituency) will have flying squads and a static surveillance team.

"Banks will also be asked to keep an eye on all suspicious withdrawal of cash.

"The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will also remain alert during the polls. Both police and Excise sleuths have already started drives against the misuse of liquor. Sleuths of the NCB (Narcotic Control Bureau) have also been alerted.

"To thwart misuse of muscle power, the police have been executing all non-bailable warrants issued in the State. The Election Commission is committed to smooth, free, fair and safe election."

Additional CEO and State nodal officer for MCC (Model Code of Conduct) & election expenditure, Vinod Sechan said, "Legal expenditures of candidates will be monitored by the District Election Officers (DEOs), who will also have to maintain shadow registers (a register devised within the microcontroller for the purpose of holding certain data to be used later).

"The candidates will have to maintain their respective bank accounts, cash transactions and daily accounts.

"Moreover, 'Assistant Expenditure Observers' from the Central government will assist the 'Expenditure Observers'.

"Each LAC will have three flying squads and at least one static-surveillance team to monitor the MCC and expenditure. Political parties have no expenditure limit, but they'll have to submit their audited accounts to the Election Commission.

"The advertisers will have to disclose their identities for publishing political advertisement in newspapers or in electronic media.

"The banks will have to view with suspicion when Rs 1 lakh is withdrawn and Rs 10 lakh is transferred from one account to another. If the banks suspect any withdrawal or transfer of cash, they will have to inform it to the authorities concerned."

Joint CEO and State nodal officer for media, Rahul Das said, "A polling station normally accommodates 1,500 voters. However, it has been reduced to 1,000 voters this time because of COVID-19 protocol.

"The voting hours have been extended by an hour. During the extra hour, COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients can vote. Such voters can also opt for the postal-ballot facility. The State Health department will provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits for use by officials on poll duty in the extra hour. Officials and security personnel — numbering around four lakh — on poll duty will be vaccinated by the State Health Department."

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