The Election Commission has put strict vigilance mechanism to watch over election spending during the ensuing Assembly polls, according to District Collector Mini Antony, who is also the district election officer. She was addressing a meeting of the representatives of political parties and returning officers here on Thursday.

From this time on, the candidates would have to open a separate bank account for election-related transactions and keep a daily expenditure register. The election authorities would keep a shadow expenditure account for the candidates on their own and would compare it with the expenditure register kept by the candidates. In addition, there would be an expenditure observer for the district and assistant expenditure observers for each of the constituencies.

In addition, there will be flying squads, video surveillance teams, video viewing teams and accounting teams to oversee the election spending of the candidates, she said.

The ceiling for election expenditure has been raised to Rs.16 lakh.

This time, the elections would be a two-month-long process though the polling is held in a single phase on April 13. The election notification would be issued on March 19; the last date for nominations is March 26; scrutiny will be made on 28.

The last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 30. Counting will be held on May 13 and the election process would conclude on May 18.

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