The Income-Tax department in Varanasi has launched a toll-free number for the public to file complaints about poll candidates spending more than the limit set by the Election Commission, among other steps taken to check corruption in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. “The general public can inform the department of candidates spending more than the prescribed limit of Rs 28 lakh on 1800-1806555. The identity of the informer will be kept secret,” Abhay Thakur, Additional Director of IT (Investigations), said.
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A control room has been set up at the I-T department headquarters in Lucknow to strictly monitor the expenses of all the candidates in the state and check the practice of distributing freebies, he said. The department’s city office is monitoring candidates contesting elections on eight Assembly seats — Ajagara, Shivpur, Rohaniya, Varanasi North, Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantt, Sevapuri and Pindra.
It will also keep a hawk’s eye over airports, railways, customs and transport departments to curb flow of black money during elections. We have formed a special “Air Intelligence Unit” to keep a watch over airports in Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Allahabad and also sought help from the railways, customs and transport departments to check the flow of cash from other states, Thakur said. The department has divided 19 districts of eastern UP region in seven sectors and deputed IT officials in each to monitor the entire situation, said an official.