Thursday, March 3, 2011

EC to strictly monitor poll spending: CEO

Thiruvananthapuram: The Election Commission has evolved an effective system to monitor the expenditure by candidates and to check `paid news' in media through constant evaluation in the coming assembly elections, State Chief Electoral Officer Nalini Netto said on Wednesday.

Addressing reporters here, she said all candidates were required to open an exclusive bank account for campaign in the election, scheduled for April 13 in the state. The expenditure committee would monitor the spending from the day a candidate gets nominated by a party, she said.

The maximum amount which could be spent by a candidate for campaign was Rs 16 lakh. The EC had set up video surveillance teams to observe the campaign of political parties. A shadow observation register on spending would be kept as a folder of evidence in the event of cases coming up against candidates after the elections, she said.

Expert committees had also been formed at the state and district levels to evaluate targetted news items in the media in favour of or against a particular candidate or party, being `planted for a consideration,' she said.

People were also asked not to carry cash in bulk without citing proper reason as there would be checking by flying squads during the campaign period.

Non-resident Keralites could also vote in the coming elections in the polling station he belonged to as per the address in the passport. The NRKs would have to apply through Embassies.

The state electoral office would file daily reports on the law and order situation in the state to the Election Commission, based on which the EC would decide on sending central forces to polling stations.
For the first time, the EC would provide the voter's slip to all voters.

In the first assembly election in the state based on the voter's list after the 2002 delimitation of constituencies, Kerala has a total of 2,28,78,767 voters of which 1,09,59,115 are men and 1,19,19,652 are women.

There would be 20,578 polling stations and around 500 auxilliary polling stations for the poll. The EC would send 50 general observers, besides expenditure observers, Netto said.

After the model code of conduct for poll came into force yesterday, she had received around 50 complaints of violation, Netto said.

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