Flying squads to have central government employee too: CEC

Chennai, April 8 (IANS) Increasing number of flying squads to check money power and adding a central government employee in them, a campaign that votes are not for sale, holding the police chief responsible for voters being prevented are some of the measures taken to conduct free and fair assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said on Friday.

He also said the commission will be writing to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) following Governor Raghuram Rajan’s comment that around Rs.60,000 crore cash will be in public circulation in poll bound states.

“Our strategy is to mitigate money power. There is a need to reduce this menace. The Commission deliberated on this issue extensively and decided to increase the number of expenditure observers seven fold,” Zaidi told reporters here.

He said unlicensed liquor bars will be closed and it will be ensured that they are not used for unlawful activities.

He was here to review the election preparedness in Tamil Nadu and also met political parties and different officials.

The election to the 234- member Tamil Nadu assembly will be held on May 16.

According to Zaidi, one central government employee and a paramilitary personnel will be included in the flying squad to curb the use of money power in the polls.

He said officials of the income tax (IT) department have been empowered to carry out investigation and act on actionable intelligence.

Further the IT department will cross check the asset details of the candidates declared in the affidavit with that of their IT returns.

Zaidi said the Election Commission will conduct awareness campaign on ethical voting involving celebrities.

Reacting to the complaint on the use of televisions for candidate publicity, he said the value of the television publicity will be added to the election expenditure of the candidates.

The media monitoring committee will watchout for paid news.

He said webcasting of the polling process will be in over 30,000 polling stations.

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