LS polls: EC appoints Special Expenditure Observers

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday appointed former civil servants Gopal Mukherjee and DD Goel as Special Expenditure Observers for the Lok Sabha elections.

Mukherjee, a former member of CBDT, has been deployed in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Goel, former DGIT(Investigation) has been deployed in Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.

"Both these officers have extensive knowledge of search and seizure operations conducted by the I-T Department," a statement said on Tuesday.

"The Special Observers will be supervising and monitoring the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons/entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor and freebies etc., in order to vitiate the poll process," the statement added.

The electoral body has given additional charge of Gujarat and Karnataka to Shailendra Handa and Madhu Mahajan respectively.

The ECI had appointed these officers as Special Expenditure Observers on March 19. Handa would be Special Expenditure Observer for Maharashtra and Gujarat, while Mahajan will be deployed in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.