The East Singhbhum district administration will keep an eye on canvassing through social media, movement of cash in excess of Rs 50,000 and liquor, now that Lok Sabha election dates were announced on Sunday evening and the model code of conduct enforced.
Jamshedpur parliamentary constituency (comprising East and West, Jugsalai, Baharagora, Ghatshila and Potka Assembly seats) which goes to polls on May 12, has 16,70,371 voters (8,55,831 males, 8,14,481 females and transgender 59) and 1,885 polling booths. Poll notification will be issued on April 16, candidates can file papers till April 23 and nominations can be withdrawn till April 26.
Briefing the media on Monday, like respective DCs did in other districts, DC Amit Kumar on Monday said that flying and static squads and media certification and monitoring committee had become functional from Monday to keep tabs on canvassing, especially online, and illegal enticements offered to voters.
“We have formed 18 flying and 18 static squads along with 16 interstate check posts, nine in bordering areas of Bengal and seven in bordering areas of Odisha, and also created media certification and monitoring committees,” he said.
“We will be acting swiftly on messages received through c-VIGIL app or local channels on violation of the model code or the carrying of arms, liquor, cash and gifts to lure voters. Anyone found withRs 50,000 in cash or more will have to give papers justifying the reason. Bank accounts of party’s candidates will be under close scrutiny. A party found using social media for canvassing will be asked to include the expense officially,” said the DC.
He said the administration would maintain a ‘shadow register’ or estimated expenses of each candidate based on intelligence inputs that would be matched with each one’s official statement of expense.
Police will take action against party functionaries if their banners, flags or posters are not removed from government offices, public places and private property within 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours.
The DC added there were 7,052 identified disabled voters in various categories and their polling booths would get ramps, Braille voting papers and proper signage by this month-end. Almost all polling booths will also get ramps, drinking water, furniture, proper lighting, toilets and proper signage.
SSP Anoop Birtharay said Section 144 had been promulgated from Monday. Anybody holding meetings, protests or roadblocks without permission will be liable for prosecution. “Apart from videography of polling booths, we might try drone surveillance in urban areas for crowd management before and during polls,” he said. “The police are also carrying out raids to ensure all non-bailable warrants are executed before polls.”