CEC reviews poll preparations in Goa

Panaji, Jan 22 (IANS) Abuse of money, distribution of gifts and the ruling party’s misuse of government beneficiary database to lure voters are some of the complaints received by election authorities in Goa, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said on Sunday.

The official also expressed satisfaction with election-related activities and level of preparedness in Goa, which will elect a new 40-member assembly on February 4.

“Parties expressed apprehension about abuse of money, distribution of gifts and on possible misuse of withdrawal of cash in casinos,” Zaidi told the media here.

“The parties further spoke about the likelihood of distribution of gifts in the last week before the election,” he said after a review of the election preparedness in Goa which he said his office was “by and large satisfied with”.

“(We were told) the ruling party is using beneficiary data base of government schemes for threatening, canvassing and coaxing voters to vote in their favour,” he added.

Zaidi gave strict instructions to local officials not to act in an arbitrary and whimsical manner.

Zaidi met representatives of various political parties as well as top officials from the district administration, police, returning officers and both the state and central enforcement agencies.

Saying that police had been asked to crack down on proclaimed offenders and other anti-social elements, Zaidi said excise officials had been asked to start a special drive to control the use of liquor during the polls.

He said that since the model code of conduct came into effect in Goa on January 4, not a single instance of cash seizure had been reported.

But liquor worth Rs 1.35 lakh had been seized by flying squads and drugs seizure worth Rs 17.22 lakh had been recorded.

Zaidi also the Commission reviewed with the enforcement agencies to curb the misuse of money or liquor and gift distribution.

–IANS

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