Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on Thursday said they expect less cash flow during the forthcoming Goa Assembly elections due to demonetisation. “We expect less flow of cash due to demonetisation. But we have kept a watch at the crucial points to ensure that there is no misuse of money power to influence voters,” he said here at the end of his two-day visit to Goa to oversee the preparedness for the elections due early next year. He was replying to a query on whether Centre’s demonetisation move will affect the election process.
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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed state and district level officials to assess vulnerable locations and prepare a comprehensive security management plan from the grassroot level.
On schedule for the state polls, Zaidi said factors like Goa Carnival festival in February end and board exams in March would be considered while finalising the election dates.
The ECI has also asked Goa government to keep a strict watch on casinos to ensure they are not used to distribute money during the Assembly elections.
“We had a meeting with the Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary and have asked them to keep a special watch on the casinos,” Zaidi said.
Asked on the possibility of shutting down casinos in the run-up to the polls, he said, “Unless absolutely unavoidable, we need not work towards curbing casino operations.”
The CEC, who met representatives of different parties, said, “The complaints with regard to casinos are highlighted by political parties. We conveyed our serious concern about likely misuse of casinos to the state Chief Secretary.”
“The Chief Secretary has taken note of it and has assured that he will look into the representation and we will go as per law and order,” Zaidi said.
He said the ECI has also instructed to check smuggling of liquor and other illicit items from neighbouring states.
“For this purpose, a detailed plan of action must be prepared for systematic and robust border checking and regular enforcement action must be taken to deter such unscrupulous activities,” Zaidi said.
He said there would be inter-state border checking and they have asked the authorities to provide CCTVs on the check posts there.
“There would be a list of storage places where liquor will be packed in advance and also list of liquor peddlers and smugglers. There would be a complete strategy that would be worked out to check such things,” he said.