The Election Commission has emphasised the need to be more alert during last 48 hours before the Lok Sabha polling in Punjab impending chances of distribution of cash and liquor to woo voters.
"Keeping in view the tough electoral battle ahead in Punjab, it becomes imperative to deploy police force led by senior field officers strategically with twin purpose to check any last minute manoeuvring and instilling a sense of security amongst common people also," P K Dash, Director General, all states (expenditure), ECI said.
Presiding over a meeting with Punjab CEO V K Singh and other officials through video-conferencing, Dash said that district-level control rooms should be more strengthened during that period.
The Election machinery should also keep close vigil on any attempt to entertain voters under the garb of any family function by throwing lavish party, he said.
Dash clarified that if anybody was hosting such function during that period, he should bring it in the notice of officers concerned in advance to avoid any harassment.
Directing Expenditure observers to be more proactive, Dash said they should be in consultation with officers concerned to check the expenditure of sensitive candidates and follow them with video-graphy teams wherever they go and if need arises then put special teams right before their residences to check any suspicious activity.
He asked them to facilitate the candidates in keeping their expenditure registers by guiding or imparting required training too. Dash also asked them to keep close eye on those candidates, who were showing negligible expenditure.
State CEO V K Singh said Administration has been asked to prepare special arrangements to handle last 48 hours before April 30 polls in 13 Lok Sabha seats.
DEOs have been asked to keep surprise checkposts and flying squads operational even during this time, he said adding that SSPs have been asked to make available sufficient force for this purpose.
Singh said till date the cash seizure in state was Rs. 21.85 crore, seizure of drugs of worth Rs. 731 crore besides 7.50 lakh litres of illicit liquor.
Akshay Rout, Director General, ECI, all states (awareness), briefly outlined the steps to be taken check the trend of paid news and urged the DEOs to take more interest in Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) affairs to have collective action of mind.