Telangana elections: ECI has put in place mechanisms to ensure free, fair and inducement-free elections, asserts CEC

Mr. Rajiv Kumar elaborated on the steps initiated by the ECI in poll bound Telangana 

Updated - October 05, 2023 05:47 pm IST

Published - October 05, 2023 03:56 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addressing the media on Telangana elections in Hyderabad on October 5, 2023.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addressing the media on Telangana elections in Hyderabad on October 5, 2023. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar has asserted that the Election Commission of India has put in place all the mechanisms to ensure free, fair, transparent and inducement free elections in the States which are going to polls soon.

The Chief Election Commissioner said officials of the enforcement agencies including the state police, excise department, central GST & Customs, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate had been directed to initiate strict action against use of money power during the elections. They had been asked to dry up inflow of liquor, cash, freebies and rugs besides taking steps act against “liquor kingpins”.

Steps would also be initiated to ensure strict vigil over illicit online cash transfers through wallets. “The RBI and the SLBC have been specially sensitised in this regard. They have been asked to trace the origin of the money to its destination. Services of the NPCIL will be roped in in this direction,” he said.

Mr. Rajiv Kumar spoke to the media at the conclusion of the ECI team’s three-day visit to assess the poll preparedness in Telangana where elections are due in a couple of months. He, however, evaded a reply when asked about the possible date of announcement of schedule for the assembly elections.

He instructed the officials concerned to take steps to ensure closure of illicit liquor retail outlets and execute the pending NBWs in a time bound manner. “We will check the consumption trend as part of checking the flow of liquor,” he said.

The Commission has decided to set up 148 check-posts in the areas bordering the neighbouring States with eight check-posts to be set up by the Forest department. All these check-posts would be equipped with CCTV camera network and they would be monitored through a control room specifically being set up for the purpose.

Besides, steps would be taken to monitor airstrips and helipads with deployment of personnel. A strict watch would be kept on the warehouses where freebies like cookers and others would be stored. The district election officers concerned had been directed to ensure guidelines issued by the ECI regarding the movement and storage of EVMs/VVPATs with foolproof security while steps should be taken to see that the polling parties moved in official vehicles only. The officials concerned had been directed to continuously upgrade their understanding of electoral rules with updates manuals and do’s and don’ts.

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