The CEC expressed satisfaction at the overall levels of preparation

With the first round of the Bihar Assembly polls due to commence on October 21, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi on Tuesday said that stringent expenditure-monitoring guidelines would be set forth to tighten the spending by the candidates.

Addressing journalists on the conclusion of his two-day State visit to review poll preparedness, Mr. Quraishi said that every candidate would have to open “special accounts” to facilitate their election expenditures, which would be closely watched over by observers.

“Expenditure observers and micro observers would be maintaining shadow registers to keep track of the actual spending by the candidates. There would be a video surveillance team and a cell in every district to control money power of political parties.”

The CEC further stated that the booth “vulnerability mapping” exercises to ensure peaceful and orderly polling were “by and large completed.” The commission will also consider the setting up of auxiliary booths to ensure that people are not intimated while voting. The exercises are to identify criminals and anti-socials that are located within the proximity of the booths, and are carried out to ensure that they do not hamper the polling process, thereby instilling confidence in the weaker sections of society.

In the wake of a brief flood in North Bihar's Gopalganj district, Mr. Quraishi said that only in the case of an extreme emergency would the Election Commission consider relocation or polling via mobile booths in such areas.