Keep close tab on virtual campaigning expenses by candidates, CEC tells poll observers | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With the current cowardly situation forcing parties and candidates to focus on digital campaigning in five state elections, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Friday directed election observers to keep a close tab on candidates’ spending on virtual campaigns. , To monitor compliance with Covid safety rules by political party leaders and candidates, as well as to identify any violations to take necessary action.
According to sources, the EC will issue a revised guideline for observers to monitor candidates’ campaign spending digitally.
The rules, likely to be released on Saturday, include how digital campaigns will be calculated at the end of the day’s campaign and will be kept up to date with the candidates’ maintenance registers. Candidates will also be introduced to the rules so that they can calculate their expenses in virtual outreach accordingly.
In a briefing of about 900 observers deployed in five election-dependent states – UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur – General, Expenditure and Police, Chandra stressed the need for observers to be accessible. They are visible by observing the voting process.
In addition to adhering to the Covid rules for voting and voter safety, the CEC instructed observers to ensure a hassle-free experience for voters by visiting the maximum number of booths and observing SVEEP activities for voters with disabilities. Especially for achieving higher turnout among women voters.
Addressing observers from IAS, IPS, IRS and other central services at the meeting, which was held in hybrid mode, Chandra described the observers as EC’s ‘eyes and ears’ and asked them to be vigilant against any flaws in the model code. Behavior and other guidelines.
Emphasizing the EC’s zero-tolerance of money laundering or any kind of temptation, the CEC urged observers to be innovative in dealing with new methods of temptation.
Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said observers play a key role in conducting elections and thus need to be accessible and visible to voters, candidates and political parties to personally address their grievances and complaints. He warned observers that they were always subject to rigorous and microscopic scrutiny and that they should be careful and prudent about their own conduct during the selection process.
Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, highlighting the increasing role of virtual campaigns in the present times, pointed out the need to reduce misinformation and hate campaigns on social media platforms.

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