EC seizes Rs.1 crore in Bengal

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Kolkata, March 19 (IANS) The Election Commission on Saturday said Rs.1 crore has been seized across districts of poll-bound West Bengal in the last 18 days.

The seizures were done by flying and static squads of the commission, an official of the poll panel said here.

“As part of our expenditure monitoring drives, Rs.69 lakh has been seized from the districts by our flying squads in the last 18 days on account of unauthorised carrying of cash, while Rs.31.50 lakh was seized by our static squad in Kolkata from Burrabazar police station area,” the election commission’s joint chief electoral officer Amitabha Sengupta said.

“FIR has been lodged. We have moved the competent court and investigation is pending,” he said.

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He said that under the expenditure monitoring activities, 908 flying squads were patrolling across 21 districts, while there were 624 static teams deployed to monitor poll expenditure.

He said the commission has introduced GPS-enabled live tracking system on the flying squads to track all of them.

“Squads would also be able to send pictures directly to the commission’s control room and according to its order, they (flying squads) would intervene within 30 minutes if any communication regarding any violation of the poll code is made to the squads from the control room,” he added.

Sengupta said the responses of Trinamool Congress leader Rezzak Mollah, its Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal and CPI-M parliamentarian Mohammad Salim to the show-cause notice slapped on them for some of their remarks have been sent to commission.

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The poll panel also said five special teams deputed to review preparedness in 21 districts have already started their work.

Of the five chief electoral officers leading the teams, three officers have already arrived.

Chief Electoral officer (CEO) of Punjab V.K. Singh, Himachal Pradesh’s Narender Pradhan and Delhi’s Chandra Bhushan Kumar have already come to the state while Karnataka’s CEO Amil Kumar Jha, and Daman and Diu’s Sandeep Kumar were expected by Sunday, he said.

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