Free Press Journal

EC teams to be on lookout for drugs, liquor ahead of Punjab assembly polls


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Chandigarh: Special teams constituted by the Election Commission (EC) will keep a wary eye on the distribution of drugs and liquor and carrying of cash ahead of the February 4 Punjab assembly elections, a senior electoral officer said on Wednesday.

Also Read: Will wipe out drugs from Punjab within 4 weeks- Amarinder Singh

The poll date was announced by the Election Commission of India in New Delhi on Wednesday.

“Static surveillance teams and flying squads have been made operational across the state to check misuse of money power, liquor and narcotics. Adequate security forces have been deployed for conducting free and fair electoral process in the state,” Punjab Chief Electoral Officer V.K. Singh told the media here.

He said directions have been issued to all heads of departments and Deputy Commissioners to strictly implement the Model Code of Conduct which comes into force immediately.

The main fight for the 117 assembly seats will be between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance, the Congress and new challenger Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The Akali Dal-BJP combine has been in power since 2007 for two consecutive terms. The alliance has ruled Punjab for 15 years, from 1997-2002, 2007-2012 and 2012-2017.

The last date for nominations will be January 18; scrutiny will be held on January 19. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 21. Counting of votes will be held on March 11.

“For the first time, 35 high-profile and sensitive constituencies will have EVMs (electronic voting machines) attached with VVPAT, in which every vote cast will have a printed record.

Also Read: AAP will make Punjab drug and corruption free-Arvind Kejriwal

“The EC is committed to ensure free and fair polls. Complaints registered on two apps, Samadhan and Suvidha, will be redressed within 24 hours,” Singh said.

The CEO said cash carrying limit has been fixed at Rs 50,000 and those carrying more than the allowed amount will be liable to legal action.