The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Friday said that one of the biggest challenges to hold free and fair elections in India is the widespread ‘abuse’ of money power. CEC Sunil Arora said this during a meeting of the Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence in New Delhi, PTI reported.
Arora further said that the poll panel is determined to put an end to the menace and that the commission had issued detailed guidelines to monitor poll expenditure of political parties and candidates as well.
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“The expenditure monitoring mechanism has got stronger over a period of time and larger seizures have been made by our enforcement teams in successive elections,” a statement quoted the poll panel chief as saying, according to a PTI report.
The issue of using money to ‘buy votes’ during elections is a major problem and it would require the coordination of various teams tasked with monitoring expenditure and agencies to ensure proper enforcement of the rules issued by the poll body, said Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa.
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While Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said that since the use of money during elections has increased manifold in recent times so it is vital that the various agencies work collectively to fight the menace.
The meeting was attended by heads of tax boards, law enforcement agencies, central paramilitary forces and representatives of financial institutions.
Other issues discussed at the meeting included ways of curbing covert expenditure by candidates and political parties, sensitisation of the law-enforcement agencies about their role during elections, cooperation and sharing of intelligence of economic offences amongst law enforcement agencies. Also read | ‘EC willing to prohibit political ads on social media for 48 hrs before polling if HC issues orders’
(With PTI inputs)