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AG finds irregularities in wi-fi contract to Reliance Jio in MP's chief electoral office

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

Raising doubts over of data, an report by the (AG) has found alleged irregularities in grant of contract to Reliance for providing facility at the Madhya Pradesh's electoral office.

Reliance was granted permission in November last year to provide facility for better coverage and connectivity in the office, the report said.

During the audit, it was found that the permission from the was not taken while awarding contract to the private firm, it said.

The is a Constitutional body. The of data will be affected by granting permission to a private firm for giving data services, the report said, adding the matter has been brought to the notice of senior officers.

The findings of the audit, which was conducted during October 2017 and December 2018, has been shared with the electoral office seeking its reply, according to official documents.

Besides this, the AG, which acts as the distant arm of the (CAG), has found other alleged irregularities as well.

It pointed out irregular expenditure in purchase of voting compartments, makeshift structures used at polling booths to ensure safety of Electronic Voting Machines and provide secrecy to electors while casting votes, in

As per the instruction of the of India, the voting compartments shall be made only of corrugated plastic sheet (flex board) of steel grey colour, which is opaque and reusable.

Lakhs of rupees have been spent in purchase of these voting compartments which were not as per the Election Commission's specifications, the AG report said.

The findings have been brought to the notice of senior officials, it said.

The also found avoidable expenditure of Rs 18 lakh in printing, in contravention of the existing norms, of election material from a state government organisation.

The AG has pointed out alleged irregularities in use of over Rs 50 lakh for purchase of training material ahead of state Assembly election last year.

All the districts in were given Rs 1 lakh each for augmenting training infrastructure. The audit found that utilisation certification was not received for this amount, the report said.

It also found alleged irregularities in purchase of by the

"Involvement of private party in election activities and irregularities in purchasing of voting compartment are very serious issues. I will approach to take necessary action in this regard," said Ajay Dubey, an anti-corruption activist.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 18:16 IST