Lok Sabha Election

Clean poll a huge challenge: CEC

CEC Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra at meeting in New Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Kamal Singh

The Election Commission on Friday held a meeting of the Multi-Departmental Committee on Election Intelligence, comprising representatives of the heads of tax boards, law enforcement agencies, central paramilitary forces and financial institutions, to review the measures being taken to check abuse of money power for influencing voters.

Among those who attended the meeting were Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman and Member (Investigation) P.C. Mody; Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs chief Pranab Kumar Das; Enforcement Directorate chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra; Central Economic Intelligence Bureau Director-General Mitali Madhusmita; and Financial Intelligence Unit head Pankaj Kumar Mishra.

Addressing the officers, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “Conducting clean elections is now one of the biggest challenges in our democracy given the prevalent abuse of money power, particularly when it manifests in inducement of voters.”

The Commission has already issued detailed guidelines to monitor election expenditure incurred by candidates and political parties.

“The expenditure monitoring mechanism has got stronger over a period of time and larger seizures have been made by our enforcement teams in successive elections,” Mr. Arora said.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said effective implementation of the EC’s instructions required coordination among the various expenditure monitoring teams and the agencies tasked with enforcement. “Sharing of intelligence among the agencies should ensure that there is concerted attack on the problems,” Mr. Lavasa said.

Two thrust areas

Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said the expenditure monitoring mechanism with its two thrust areas of keeping track of the legal expenses incurred by candidates and political parties for campaigns ensuring that there was no illegal use of money and other items for buying of votes, was vital to ensuring clean elections.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:19:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/clean-poll-a-huge-challenge-cec/article26547795.ece

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