EC writes to parties over Black money in polls

Election Commission has written to all political parties asking them to avoid cash transactions during assembly polls in five states.

Last Updated: Dec 27, 2011, 17:45 PM IST

New Delhi: In order to curb the use of black
money during assembly polls in five states, the Election
Commission has written to all political parties asking them to
avoid cash transactions and instruct their cadres not to carry
huge cash during elections.

The Commission, in this context, has written a letter to
all recognised political parties in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh,
Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur, enlisting the steps it
has undertaken to "curb use of money power during elections".

"In order to maintain the purity of elections and in
particular to bring transparency in the process of elections,
it is advised that political parties avoid transactions in
cash and should instruct their office bearers, officials,
agents and candidates not to carry huge cash during the
ensuing process of elections," the EC wrote in its December 26
letter.

The Commission has advised candidates to open separate
bank accounts for their election expenses and to make all
election expenses through the said bank accounts.
The EC has also issued fresh directions to the chiefs of
Income Tax (Investigation) department in all these states to
"keep vigil over" financial brokers and hawala agents
including keeping track on illegal movement of cash at
airports and through other transit locations.

> "...instances are reported to Commission and also in
media that cash, liquor and several utility items are being
used in a clandestine manner during the process of elections
for bringing influence on voters.

"Such distribution of cash, liquor or any other item for
gratification of the voters is bribery and is punishable under
the Indian Penal Code and is also a corrupt practice under the
Representation of People Act," the Commission said in its
letter.

The EC also asked all the parties to ensure that any fund
provided by the party to its candidates for election purpose
should be reflected in the day-to-day account of election
expenditure of the candidate.

"The Commission has also advised candidates to open
separate bank accounts for their election expenses and to make
all election expenses through the said bank accounts. The
parties are also required to maintain and lodge the accounts
before the Commission after the election is over," the EC
said.

The EC had recently announced a seven-phased poll in
Uttar Pradesh between February 4 and 28, while assembly
elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa will be held
in a single-phase.
Punjab and Uttarakhand will go to polls on January 30,
while they will be held on January 28 in Manipur and on March
3 in Goa.
The counting of votes in all the states will be held on
March 4.

PTI