EC briefs poll expenditure observers for Bihar elections
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 21:57
New Delhi: About 50 Income Tax officers -- appointed as expenditure observers for the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar -- were on Thursday briefed by the Election Commission here to ensure strict compliance of the new guidelines by the candidates in the poll fray.

This is the first batch of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers, out of a total of about 150, who have been deputed to the EC to oversee election related expenditure after the Commission activated a Election Expenditure Monitoring (EEM) cell in its establishment.

The upcoming Bihar Assembly polls are the first assignment for the new cell which has recently brought out new guidelines like the creation of "shadow" expenditure registers and exclusive election bank accounts by the candidates trying their luck at the hustings.

The officers, who will take charge of their designated assembly constituencies in first week of October were briefed by senior EC officials about the mechanism and procedures they will have to adopt to observe, gather and record expenditure related activities of candidates and political parties.

The officers were also told about the 24x7 control room activated at the EC headquarters here which will be coordinating with each such control unit in each district of the state.

The officers were instructed to ensure strict compliance by the candidates in maintaining the "shadow" expenditure registers and exclusive bank accounts, sources said.

In order to check illegal spending through paid news, the officers will liaise with a team headed by Deputy District Education Officer (DEO) and district Public Relations Officer (PRO) and will monitor both print and electronic media and the local cable channels and subsequently will submit daily reports to an accounting team.

The new guidelines also envisage arrangements for a 'video surveillance and viewing team' for each candidate, comprising an officer and a clerk, to watch, tabulate and prepare report of expenditure after gleaning through the video footage every day.


First Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 21:57

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