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Posted at: Jan 12, 2017, 2:12 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2017, 2:12 AM (IST)PUNJAB POLLS 2017

Admn, police launch special campaign

To encourage voters to exercise their right to franchise without any fear and influence

The measures

  • The Commission, as part of its measures to curb black money in the poll, has planned to deploy ‘expenditure observers’, drawn from Central revenue services such as the Income Tax and Customs and Excise Departments. The poll panel, in order to keep a track of huge cash spent during the poll, has also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), both agencies under the Union Finance Ministry, to keep a strict vigil on movement of unaccounted cash.
  • The police and paramilitary will be deployed in the city and surrounding areas to ensure that voters have a sense of security when they step out to vote. We have requested for additional security and will ensure free and fair elections at all cost. Nakas across the district have been laid to check movement of anti-social elements. — S Bhoopathi, Patiala SSP
  • We have made elaborate arrangements to encourage voters. All vulnerable polling booths will be covered with CCTVs, web casting and guided by paramilitary forces. Besides, at the initial stage before polling, police officials will visit all vulnerable polling booths regularly. — Ramvir Singh, District Election Officer
Admn, police launch special campaign
Paramilitary forces carry out a flag march in Patiala on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 11

To provide a sense of security in the voters at all vulnerable polling booths in the forthcoming Assembly elections, the district and the police administration have launched a special campaign to encourage voters to use their right of franchise without any fear or influence.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has issued enough guidelines to ensure a check on all illegal activities.

District Election Officer Ramvir Singh said they had made elaborate arrangements to encourage voters and said all vulnerable polling booths would be covered with CCTVs, web casting and guided by paramilitary forces. Besides, at the initial stage before polling, police officials would visit all vulnerable polling booths regularly.

Patiala SSP S Bhoopathi said the police and paramilitary would be deployed in the city and surrounding areas to ensure that voters have a sense of security when they step out to vote.

“We have requested for additional security and will ensure free and fair elections at all cost. Nakas across the district have been laid to check movement of anti-social elements,” he said.

Meanwhile in its recent instructions, the Election Commission wants that cash under Rs 10 lakh be probed for its source, while “Income Tax officials be informed” if the cash seized is above this amount.

In its latest set of instructions to all district-level officers in Punjab, a letter in this regard stated “as per standard operating procedure issued by the ECI, when the amount of cash is above Rs 10 lakh, the information is passed on to the Income Tax Department”. “In cases where the cash intercepted is less than Rs 10 lakh, the source, identify and purpose of cash is to be ascertained. The details regarding the name, address, source and purpose of carrying cash is to be field agencies/police,” reads the excerpt of a secret letter shot by the commission.

The recent guidelines are stricter than its instructions issued during the Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and union territory of Puducherry in early 2016, where cash seizures in those five poll-bound states had crossed Rs 113 crore. Tamil Nadu had recorded four times more interceptions than other states, with the Election Commission (EC) appointed surveillance and expenditure monitoring teams deployed in Tamil Nadu seizing a total of Rs 69 crore cash.

The Commission, as part of its measures to curb black money in the poll, has planned to deploy ‘expenditure observers’, drawn from Central revenue services such as the Income Tax and Customs and Excise Departments. The poll panel, in order to keep a track of huge cash spent during the poll, has also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), both agencies under the Union Finance Ministry, to keep a strict vigil on movement of unaccounted cash.

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