Senior officials of the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday held an all party meeting on the election expenditure of candidates contesting the forthcoming assembly polls.
During the meeting, EC officials have made the various political party leaders aware about the election expenditure and explained them about expenditure related laws and the Election Commission’s provisions in this regard.
The EC had issued press note giving a guideline on the expenditure of candidates during their poll campaign. There will be election expenditure observers who will monitor the expenses of all the candidates contesting the election. The EC had earlier fixed the upward limit of expenditure for each candidate at Rs 28 lakh.
All the candidates contesting the polls have to submit their election expenditure account to the election commission. Expenditure observers will maintain an expenditure account for every candidate and will compare it with that submitted by the candidate to the commission. If there is a discrepancy between the two accounts, the candidate will be asked to explain why there was a difference if the difference is of a big amount.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar said the commission will maintain a ‘shadow expenditure register’ for all the candidates. The election officials will make the candidates aware about the expenses of each items used by a particular candidate during his/her poll campaign. The commission has fixed the rate of every items including chairs, microphones, expenses spent for constructing dias which will used by the candidates.
All the District Election Officers (DEO) have been asked to make the political parties and their candidates aware about the expenditure monitoring system. The commission will also strictly keep a vigil on the carrying of cash. Sarkar said that if any particular person was caught with over Rs 50,000, he or she will be asked to explain the source of the money and the purpose. If a person can provide reasonable explanation he or she will be released. If anybody is caught with and over Rs 10 lakh, Income Tax department officials would be informed to look into the matter.
Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena on Tuesday convened a meeting with the team of Chief Electoral Officer’s, ADG, law and order, and all the District Election Officers (DEO) and the superintendents of the police through a video conference.
During the meeting that lasted nearly two and half hours, Saxena had asked the DEOs how the central forces have been utilized. He also reviewed the overall poll preparedness in the state. He also asked the election officials whether the polling stations were finalized. He also inquired of the facilities available inside the polling stations.
Saxena also asked whether the model polling stations and polling stations controlled by the women have been identified.
To ensure free and fair election, the Deputy Election Commissioner had asked to prepare adequate security arrangement for the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) divisions. The commission has asked to carry out special vigil in all the inter-state bordering areas.
Sarkar said that the review meeting was overall satisfactory. The Deputy Election Commissioner had expressed his happiness to see the arrangements that were made across the state.