Hailakandi expenditure observer pitch for free and fair polls

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HT Correspondent

Hailakandi, March 6: TheĀ  expenditure observer to the three legislative assembly constituencies of Hailakandi election district, Brajendra Kumar held a series of meeting with district officials, police officials, representatives of political parties, bankers and income tax officials here on Saturday.

Expenditure Observer, Kumar who arrived yesterday afternoon, held separate meetings with all stakeholders to ensure free and fair elections.

Kumar from IRS cadre called upon the static surveillance and fixed surveillance teams and assistant expenditure observers to keep a tab on illegal flow of cash and illicit liquor for ensuring free and fair elections. “You have to be active and vigils as you all are working in the actual field. A free and fair election can be ensured through your diligence and hard work,” he quipped.

He directed the fixed surveillance teams not to remain static but to move from one place to another to prevent the flow of unaccounted cash and illicit liquor. Kumar instructed them to act upon immediately if there is detection of unaccounted cash and liquor by lodging FIRs and reporting the matter to the concerned authorities, including the district election officer.

Kumar directed the officials of excise department to form teams to prevent movement of illicit liquor and to keep tab on sudden spike in liquor sale.

The election expenditure observer asked the income tax officials to maintain proper accounts of election related expenditure and seizure of unaccounted cash.

In a meeting with representatives of political parties, Kumar urged them to open bank accounts in the name of either the contesting candidates or his or her political agent and to avoid cash expenditure beyond the permissible limit of Rs.10, 000. He urged them to keep proper accounts of expenditure incurred during campaigning, including bills and vouchers and to maintain evidences for inspection. Kumar asked them to remain vigil in stopping illegal cash, liquor and other illegal activities for smooth conduct of the polls.

In the same vein, he requested the bankers to open bank accounts of candidates in the electoral fray on the same day and to issue instant cheque facility to them to ensure transparent transaction. Kumar asked the bankers to report immediately in case of huge transactions taking place as ‘there are restrictions imposed on it by Election Commission of India’.

The expenditure observer asked the members of Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) to keep a close watch on paid news in all forms of media, including local channels.

District electoral officer, Megh Nidhi Dahal apprised the expenditure observer about the slew of steps being initiated by the administration to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls. Dahal while seeking the cooperation of all stakeholders asked them to work in tandem for smooth and hassle-free conduct of the polls. The DEO asked those engaged with the election process to be fully prepared to ‘work in worse case scenario’. He asked the representatives of political parties to adhere to the model code of conduct as it has been formulated by the ECI in consultation with them for ensuring free and fair election.

Earlier, district development commissioner cum In- charge of MCC-EEM Cell, RK Laskar briefed the expenditure observer about the formation of district level task force and circle level task force, static and surveillance teams and MCMC to ensure smooth holding of election in the district.

Superintendent of Police, Pabindra Kumar Nath asked the bankers to report if there is any detection of fake currencies for appropriate action as it constituted criminal offence.

Nath disclosed that a sum of Rs.4.73 lakh was seized on March 3 by a joint team of SST and local police and more than 80 bottles of liquor confiscated on March 4.

Officials of PWD, APDCL, income tax, DIPRO, excise and other departments were present at the meetings.

Members of the public, political parties and media can lodge complaints of code of conduct violations to the election observer in his cell number 9531428743 and control room number 03844-223377.

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