SHILLONG, Jan 18 - With the date of polls announced by Election Commission of India (ECI), the model code of conduct has come into force and State Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor today said that election expenditure of the candidates would now be monitored intensely.
Polling would be held on February 27 in the State and counting of ballot would be completed on March 3. Kharkongor said the provisions of the model of conduct would come into force throughout the State and would apply to all candidates, political parties, State and Union Governments in matters of announcement of programmes and policies.
�We have made elaborate arrangements for effective implementation of the guidelines of the model code of conduct,� the CEO said. The security agencies and other poll agents would be now concentrating on the election expenditure of the candidates.
A candidate is allowed to spend Rs 20 lakh for the campaign. However, distribution of cash to lure voters has been a matter of concern in the State polls over the years.
The CEO said that as part of the monitoring process, a meeting with Bank officials would be held soon. The Banks, he said, would be asked to report any �suspicious or huge� transactions during this period of the election campaign. �EC will also deploy expenditure observers who will identify the expenditure sensitive areas and then monitor those areas,� he said.
Kharkongor said there would also be an Election Expenditure Monitoring Committee at the State Capital and district level which would take stock of the expenditures of the contesting candidates in collaboration with Income Tax officials.
As part of the checks and balances, the candidates would have to submit a detailed account of their expenditure within 30 days from the date of announcement of the results, the CEO informed. On the security front, the CEO said 100 companies of Central Reserve Police Force would be deployed along with State police and other security agencies present in the State. Moreover, over 21,000 poll officials will be deployed for the smooth conduct of the polls.
Kharkongkor said out of the total polling stations 536 have been identified as �vulnerable,� 454 as �critical� and 67 as �critical as well as vulnerable.� The rest of the 2,025 polling stations are normal polling stations.
The CEO, however, added, that his office would be constantly monitoring the situation and reviewing the polling stations and may change their status, if required. Meanwhile, according to the final list, there are 18, 31,487 voters, with female voters (9,24,264) outnumbering male voters (9,07,223).