SHILLONG, Jan 08: In order to keep a tab on the use of “money and muscle power” during the upcoming Meghalaya Assembly election, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to deploy “flying squad” in different districts.
“To ensure holding of a ‘free, fair, peaceful election without compromise’, we would appoint flying squads to monitor movement of ‘money and use of muscle’ power during the voting, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, VS Sampath, told reporters here on Tuesday.
Sampath met with Meghalaya Chief Secretary WMS Pariat, Meghalaya principal secretary (Home) KS Kropha, Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) Kulbir Kishen, state election department officials, deputy commissioners, Superintendent of Police (SPs) of all the districts and political parties to review poll preparedness of Meghalaya for the upcoming assembly elections.
Sampath informed that during the ECI meeting with the political parties in Shillong concerns were raise by some political parties about the possible use of money and muscle powers during voting.
He, however, assured that under the comprehensive expenditure monitoring instruction every conceivable instances of money power has been envisaged and plans to tackle it by setting up of complaint monitoring cells and “flying squads” in every district who will go to the spot where there is evident of movement of cash or other objects to see that they do not exercise undue influence on the voters during the polls.
Speaking about the perceived threat to voters and the process of election in Garo hills from militants, Sampath said, “I have directed the DCs and SPs to prepare vulnerability mapping of polling stations where there is a threat by unruly elements.”
He also highlighted that there is a slight shortfall, of about one and half percent, in the ratio of state population and the electoral roll registration percentage. He, however, hoped that this gap will be filled with time. The ideal ratio of voters’ registration should be fifty percent of the total population of the state and Meghalaya is short by just one and half percent.