Bhubaneswar, Jan 14:
Ahead of the general elections scheduled in April this year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to keep a tight leash on the expenditure incurred by candidates during the election campaign.
The Commission has issued a directive to this effect to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of all the states.
Talking to OST here on Monday, additional CEO Naba Kumar Nayak said the ECI has decided to initiate strict measures as the candidates are keeping their poll expenditure a secret.
As per the directive of the Commission, the district collector appointed as returning officer for the Lok Sabha candidates, and the additional collector, project director or the sub collector appointed as returning officers for the candidates contesting Assembly elections, would prepare a shadow register to record the detailed expenditure of each candidate and submit a report separately in this connection to the election observer.
“This apart, the ECI, taking note of incorrect information provided by the candidates on the use of vehicles in the poll campaign, has directed video recording of all election rallies and meeting of the candidates for which appointment of cameramen and photographers would be made. On the basis of the video recordings, the poll observers would verify the authenticity of information on poll expenditure provided by the concerned candidates”, Nayak informed.
He also said that the ECI, for the first time, has decided to introduce ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option for the voters in the general and Assembly elections. For general elections, the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) will have the NOTA option marked with white letters on its display board while it would be marked red for the Assembly elections.
For the general elections in Odisha, the final voter list would be announced on January 15.
Voting would take place in 36,278 polling booths of which 382 would be auxiliary booths.
Keeping in view the requirement of 1, 63 lakh EVMs for these booths, ECI has directed the CEO to fetch 1.49 lakh EVMs from Karnataka.
Meanwhile, sources in the CEO office here said the staffs have left for Karnataka on Tuesday.