Election Commission of India
Election Commission of India

The election campaigning is expected to pick up more heat and dust with last date of filing nominations on Friday for by-elections on 28 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh.

More than 175 nominations have been filed till Friday for all 28 assembly constituencies. Remaining contestants will file the nomination on Friday, making the poll campaign more aggressive as only few days are left for voting. More than two dozen contestants from the BJP and Congress filed nominations on Thursday.

Scrutiny of nomination papers will be done October 17 while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is on October 19. With nomination process over, the election rallies, assemblies and gatherings will increase.

Special surveillance teams active

Election commission has now tightened its noose on cash flow in poll-bound areas. Banks have been instructed to inform the election office for withdrawal of Rs 10 lakh or above by anyone. Bank officials have also been asked to inform about any suspected transactions during this period. Lead banks of the districts will take daily account of suspected and high value bank transactions in their districts.

All banks have been instructed not to use any other vehicle than their authorized vans to transit cash. Their points of picking and dropping of cash should be defined clearly. All such vans should have complete details of cash besides information about the driver, vehicle etc.

Expenditure raised due to corona

With elections being held under shadow of corona pandemic the cost of holding elections have increased by more than three times. Sources say that the election commission was sanctioned about Rs 40 crores to hold by-elections on 28 assembly constituencies but now the election commission has asked for an additional Rs 40 crores in view of additional arrangements made in view of covid-19 pandemic.

Officials of election commission say that expenditure has gone up as additional polling booths have been made along with posting of additional staff to conduct by-polls. Moreover, additional vehicles are also required for transport of staff following social distancing norms. Sanitization of booths, thermal screening, PPE kits and masks are also additional expenses.

Exit poll banned

Election commission has notified the returning officers and collectors of poll bound districts to inform concerned authorities that exit poll has been prohibited. All type of media has been included in the order.

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Free Press Journal