EC meets revenue officials ahead of assembly polls
The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday held a meeting with revenue, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs officials as part of efforts to ensure free and fair polls in four states and the Union territory of Puducherry in March and April.
A person familiar with the matter said a stringent watch is being kept ensuring no misuse of money or other freebies and a level playing field. “All efforts will be made to keep the elections free of any kind of unfair inducements,” the person said.
The EC has issued directions for strict action against any financial misconduct in the elections. Around 187 million people in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry will vote to elect 824 lawmakers from March 27.
The EC will set up 270,000 polling stations for the largest electoral exercise in the country since the Covid-19 pandemic struck early last year.
Two special expenditure observers have been sent to Tamil Nadu, while one each has been deployed in the other three states and Puducherry.
Polling for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 seats in Kerala and 30 seats in Puducherry will take place on April 6. Assam, with 126 assembly seats, will vote in three phases: March 27, April 1 and 6. Bypolls to Kanyakumari and Malappuram Lok Sabha seats will be also conducted on April 6. West Bengal will vote in eight phases. The 294 assembly seats in the eastern state will go to the polls between March 27 and April 29.