Punjab Polls: EC Has Zero Tolerance Towards Abuse Of Money, Power

Election commission has zero tolerance towards abuse of money, power or government machinery, said Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra after taking note of poll preparedness ahead of 2022 Punjab Assembly polls.

“The District Officers have been instructed to monitor expenditure sensitive constituencies and ensure comprehensive, coordinated actions. Conducting inducement free and ethical elections is of prime importance for the Election Commission of India,” said Chandra.
Chief Election Commissioner met security personnel’s in the state to discuss concerns around electoral offences including the use of drugs and the law and order situation.

“The enforcement agencies have been asked to step up their vigil to ensure that inter-state and cross border movement of drugs, liquor and cash is effectively checked,” said CEC.

“The Commission has reviewed the concerns cited about law and order situation with the District Magistrates and Police Officers. Concerned officials have been directed to ensure speedy execution of Non-Bailable Warrants (NBWs) and speedy disposal of pending cases of the electoral offences from last elections,” he said.

“Adequate CAPF and experienced observers would be deputed to oversee smooth conduct of free and fair elections in the state,” CEC added.

The commission has also instructed parties and candidates to make sure that the criminal record of candidates gets published on TV channels, newspapers and party websites.

“Emphasis is given on mandatory publicity of Criminal antecedents. As reiterated by Commission, instructions have been issued that candidates will have to advertise thrice in newspapers and TV Channels during the Campaign period,” said Chandra.

“Now, it is also mandatory for political parties to publicize in the newspaper, social media and upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases selected as candidates, along with the reason for such selection, as also why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates,” it added.

A high-level team of the ECI was on a two-day visit to Chandigarh to take stock of poll preparedness in the state.

The team comprised CEC Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey.

The Commission’s team also comprised three Deputy Election Commissioners, Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Nitesh Vyas and T Sreekanth, besides Director-General Sheyphali B Sharan.

Chief Electoral Officer Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju received the full commission at the Mohali Airport and warm reception was accorded at the meeting venue in Chandigarh.

In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.

Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats. (ANI)

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