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Liquor and lucre under scanner

Shillong, Jan. 18: Entertainment activities and distribution of cash, alcohol and other forms of inducements have been prohibited in certain districts of poll-bound Meghalaya.

West Jaintia Hills deputy commissioner Peter S. Dkhar has put on hold all matters relating to fetes, lucky draws, melas and other entertainment activities till the election is over. He said this decision was taken in a meeting held on January 14 in the presence of other officials.

The model code of conduct came into effect last Friday soon after the Election Commission announced the poll schedule in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Vijay Kumar Mantri said the distribution of cash, liquor or any other item for gratification of voters is “bribery” while both giving and taking bribes is a punishable offence with imprisonment upto one year, along with a fine.

He said flying squads have been formed under each police station to keep a watch on the distribution of cash, liquor and other items during the polls. Anybody carrying a huge amount of cash in any constituency during the elections should produce documents to show the source and end-use of such cash to avoid being seized by the flying squads, he added.

The documents to be produced include PAN card, business registration certificate, copy of bank passbook/bank statement showing withdrawal of cash, copy of cash book in case of business involving regular cash transactions and evidence for end-use of the cash like marriage invitation, hospital admission and others.

Meghalaya will elect 60 members to the state Assembly on February 23 while the counting of votes will be held on February 28.