The District Election Office on Thursday announced that pawn brokers would be monitored as part of the measures to prevent distribution of money to voters during the Assembly elections. It has asked the Chennai Collectorate to furnish data pertaining to all the licensed pawn brokers in the city.
District Election Officer and Chennai Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan said it was for the first time that the pawn brokers were would be brought under surveillance during elections.
The data, including the name and address of the pawn brokers, would be handed over to the Income Tax department officials and the police by the District Election Office for scrutiny. The Election Commission has started to focus on pawn brokers as they are likely to play a crucial role in distribution of money during elections, according to officials.
Localities that have many pawn broker shops would be identified. The data collected at the taluk level is likely to be segregated as per the 16 constituencies – Dr.Radhakrishnan Nagar, Perambur; Kolathur, Villivakkam, Thiru-Vi-Ka-Nagar (SC), Egmore (SC), Royapuram, Harbour, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni, Thousand Lights, Anna Nagar, Virugampakkam, Saidapet, Thiyagarayanagar, Mylapore, and Velachery.
“There is a possibility of distribution of money through pawn brokers in Chennai during this election. This preventive measure may bring distribution of money under control,” said a Corporation councillor who did not want to be named.