Calling for a 'complete check' on paid news and keeping a tab on candidates' poll expenses, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi today held a meeting with top election officials of the five states which went to polls and asked them to make the assembly elections in as many states early next year an even better organised exercise.
The Chief Electoral Officers of the five states shared their experiences during the recent assembly elections with the commission top brass at the two-day special meet in Faridabad chaired by Quraishi and attended by Election Commissioners V S Sampath and H S Brahma among others.
While Quraishi exhorted poll officials to make the assembly elections in five states early next year an improved exercise than the ones held this year, the two ECs Sampath and Brahma highlighted the qualitative improvements experienced in the recent assembly polls and called for consolidation of these in future elections.
On the concluding day of the conference, Quraishi stressed that paid news should be put under "complete check" during polls and election monitoring mechanism be further tightened to reduce the influence of money power.
Quraishi also called for keeping a track on the expenditure record of candidates, while observing that some candidates, "in connivance with the media groups", showed highly priced advertisements to be of much lesser price to "minimise" their poll expenditure.
He said during recent Assembly polls in five states, it was brought to EC's notice that candidates got advertisements published as news items which created suspicion. "This (paid news) should be completely checked," he said.
Quraishi also advocated the need for keeping a tab on the expenditure record of candidates within a specific time period so that the candidature of those found violating the rules "could be cancelled".
He directed the CEOs to update information of their state on the Commission's website.
Quraishi asked the officials to speed up enrollment of candidates who have just completed 18 years of age.
He also directed all CEOs to update information pertaining to paid news and election expenses monitoring of their state on Commission's website within five days and have the printout of the same by April 30.
He said that grievances of voters should be redressed promptly, for which he laid emphases on direct contact between voters and booth level officers. He also asked for help from banks, so that a notice bearing details of concerned booth level officers could be pasted in all branches of banks.
Quraishi for Check on Paid News, Tab on Poll Expenses
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