The Election Commission has deployed around 1,800 teams, including flying squads and static surveillance teams, with thousands of officers to keep an eye on the expenditure and code of conduct violations.
Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Thane have been identified as sensitive cities and will have senior IPS officers from other states as observers. The EC has also deputed six police observers for two Maoist-affected districts and four other districts that have maximum number of polling booths that fall in the sensitive category. The EC has also deployed 112 general observers of the rank of IAS officers to monitor the conduct of election process.
“The expenditure monitoring mechanism was introduced in the Lok Sabha election held in April-May this year. There were about 1,743 flying and static squads looking at the expenditure and conduct of the election. The number of the squads has gone up in the Assembly election, as there will be three flying squads and three static surveillance teams for each Assembly segment,” said an officer from the EC.
The EC has also approved the state electoral branch’s demand of providing additional companies of central forces. The union home ministry has decided to deploy 35 companies of para-military forces to maintain law and order during the Assembly election.
The force to be deployed would include 12 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force, 8 companies of the Railway Police Force and 5 companies of the Goa state reserve police force, with the rest from the state reserve police.
Though the officials from the EC refused to divulge the number, the union home ministry has planned heavy deployment of para-military forces in Maoist-hit Gadchiroli and Gondiya districts.