The Election Commission of India (EC) headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday convened a meeting of a multi-departmental committee on election intelligence and directed the officials to work in close coordination to curb misuse of money power in the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
The heads of tax boards, law enforcement agencies, Central paramilitary forces and representatives of financial institutions attended the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, the CEC said conducting clean elections was one of the biggest challenges in the country given the prevalent abuse of money power, particularly when it manifests in inducement of voters.
He said the Commission is determined to curb this menace and added that individually and collectively the agencies participating in the meeting are the bulwark of clean elections.
He emphasised the need for coordinated efforts of various expenditure monitoring teams and the agencies tasked with enforcement.
Sharing of intelligence amongst the agencies should ensure that multidimensional crime is tackled with coordinated action, the CEC said.
He underlined that due follow-up action on seizures done in one model code of conduct phase should be so demonstrative as to act as a deterrent in the next phase.
The issues discussed at the meeting included ways of curbing covert expenditure by candidates and political parties; sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies about their role during elections; mapping of constituencies by agencies to check smuggling of goods, drugs, liquor and cash, including fake currency, through seaports, inter-state borders and international borders.
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