After huge cash interceptions and seizure of Rs 215 crore of unaccounted money during previous Assembly polls, the Election Commission has put in place an expenditure monitoring mechanism for curbing misuse of money power during general elections.
Noting that money-power creates an uneven playing field and lack of fair competition where certain sections are put to disadvantage while undermining the law, the EC has deployed nodal officers in each state who will coordinate with EC.
The Commission also held a meeting on February 13 of all nodal officers for expenditure monitoring, excise, income tax and police departments alongwith that in the office of Chief Electoral Officer in states to ensure coordination to help curb use of money power.
The EC stressed on interpersonal communication through state/Government of India units of Income Tax to track illegal cash, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to track drugs, Enforcement Directorate to track foreign Exchange, Police Department and Excise Department of the respective states to check other crimes related to bribery, terror, theft, narcotics, illegal liquor and abuse of money power in poll involving a candidate, his agent or any political party.
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“A strict vigil is maintained over the movement of cash through airports/airstrips/Helipads and a standard operating procedure (SOP) has been developed and implemented by the Bureau of Civil Aviation in consultation with the Commission,” the EC said.
While CISF keeps strict vigil at airports of states to stop illegal movement of cash/bullion involving any candidate, his agent or any political party, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been asked to operate Air Intelligence Units (AIUs) in all airports till the end of polls so as to keep track of and report of any illegal cash movement.