Poll 2012: 27 companies of paramilitary forces in Punjab soon
After the surprise move of advancing the Punjab poll on January 30, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is set to deploy at least 27 companies of the paramilitary forces immediately replacing the state police from critical locations.chandigarh Updated: Dec 24, 2011 22:17 IST
After the surprise move of advancing the Punjab poll on January 30, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is set to deploy at least 27 companies (near 2,700 personnel) of the paramilitary forces immediately replacing the state police from critical locations.
Soon after the ECI dropped what was dubbed in political circles a “bombshell”, Punjab chief electoral officer Kusumjit Sidhu asked the ECI to deploy 27 companies of the paramilitary forces in the state “as soon as possible.”
In Punjab the ECI is likely to deploy about 200 companies of the para-military forces as was the case in February 2007 polls.
“We have asked for paramilitary forces immediately. The expenditure monitoring of the candidates also begins now,” the CEO told reporters here.
The 27 companies of the paramilitary will assist the ECI in monitoring election expenditure of the political parties by surprise checks of the vehicles, etc. As the election model code of conduct has come into force from the time ECI announced the poll schedule, the surveillance teams are being set up across the state which will ensure random checking of vehicles and take remedial action. The central force will search the vehicles for cash, liquor or drugs, if any. In case any cash/jewellery of above Rs 1 lakh is found and the person is unable to explain its source the money will be seized and handed over to the Income Tax authorities.
Hence, the ECI has advised people to carry along proof of source of cash or jewellery while travelling.
The helicopters/planes will also be subjected to checks and inspection at the place of disembarkation.
In another move, the ECI made it clear to the political parties that their hoardings, if any, anywhere in the state are in violation of the poll code. All the hoardings should have been removed before code of conduct coming into force.
The Punjab election department, in view of ECI's guidelines, has directed all the deputy commissioners across the state to ask the political parties to pull down hoardings erected across the roads, from government buildings, roundabouts and all other places where they could be a source of nuisance for the public.