Comprehensive planning, reviews and follow-ups by the Election Commission of India (ECI)involving the active participation of enforcement agencies have led to record seizures in the ongoing Assembly elections in the poll-bound states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
While announcing dates for the Gujarat Assembly elections, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had laid emphasis d inducement-free polls and cited the significant amount of seizures made in Himachal Pradesh.
”As a drive, the results are encouraging with Gujarat witnessing seizures of Rs 71.88 crores in just a few days of the announcement of elections which surpasses even the seizures made in the entire duration of enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct in the Assembly elections 2017 which was Rs 27.21 crores,” the ECI said in a press note today.
Similarly, the seizures in Himachal Pradesh are also significant amounting to Rs 50.28 crores as compared to Rs 9.03 crores, marking more than a five-fold increase. Further, if citizens become vigilant and use cVigil App more extensively, it would go a long way in curbing money power in the elections, the ECI added.
The process of effective expenditure monitoring starts months before the announcement of the elections and includes a host of activities like the appointment of experienced officers as expenditure observers, sensitising and reviewing enforcement agencies for more coordinated and comprehensive monitoring, marking of expenditure-sensitive constituencies, ensuring planning of adequate availability of field level teams in the monitoring process and regular follow-ups with DEOs/SPs with a view to curbing the role of money-power in vitiating elections. Visits by the ECI to review the electoral preparedness along with the review of central observers and DEOs, and SPs have already been taken for comprehensive monitoring.
Though these are early days after the polls were announced in Gujarat, activity by police has led to the seizure of around 1,10,000 litres of liquor valued at Rs. 3.86 crores.