Express News Service
NEW DELHI, Jan 15 : The Election Commission has told Ministers and Chief Ministers of poll-bound States to stop hearing appeals of people till the time the Model Code of Conducted MCC remains in force. It has also instructed the State administrations to prohibit the sale of liquor in shops, restaurants, hotels and at all other places during the polling time.
Moreover, the Poll Panel directed the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) in the five poll-bound States to ask the police brass that cash transfers during the election period be carried out under the protection of cops and that they be kept informed about such movements from banks or currency chests.
The EC, in its directives to the CEOs of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, has cited the standing orders issued by it in this regard even as it appended the recent instructions issued by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Finance Ministry on the subject.
The DFS had said, “ The operating procedure for transportation of cash by banks and transfer of currency from one chest to another operated by the banks within the State or inter-State level as laid down in the above mentioned letters shall be followed scrupulously.”
The EC directives on transportation of cash are seen in the backdrop of an incident in poll-bound Tamil Nadu last year, when three trucks carrying Rs 570 crore were intercepted by EC-appointed surveillance teams.
On public hearing by the Ministers or Chief Ministers, the poll panel has said that it has direct or indirect influence on the voters and it might disturb the level playing field. The Poll Panel was of the view that if any such hearing were found to be necessary, it should be held by the senior officers.
The EC has also said that Dry Day should be declared and notified under the relevant State laws during 48 hours ending with conclusion of the polls.
States, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur will go for Assembly polls between February 4 and March 8 and the model code of conduct came into force on January 4 when the EC announced the election schedule.
Source: The Sangai Express