The Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar today held a video conference with Chief Secretaries, Director Generals of Police, Nodal Police Officers, Nodal Officer CAPF and senior officials from enforcement agencies including Coast Guard, NCB, Income tax, etc of Karnataka and border states of Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to review the election arrangements, law and order coordination in view of the ongoing General Election 2023 to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.
During the review meeting, CEC Rajiv Kumar directed state teams to enhance vigilance on the state borders. He specifically emphasized the need for vigil over the 185 Interstate check posts across the six neighboring States, to ensure no cross border movement of illicit cash, liquor, drugs, freebies takes place. While taking note of seizure of over Rs 305 crores till date (as compared to Rs 83 crores only in GE LA 2018), CEC asked to fix responsibility of local officers failing to control money power. CEC asked the officials to step up the seizures with support from adjoining border states and instill fear of administration amongst the violators to fulfill Commission’s resolve of an inducement free election in the state. He directed Coast Guard and Narcotics Control Bureau officials to keep strict vigil and help curtail the drug menace.
CEC also directed officials to keep a strict watch over social media for any violations and fake narratives vitiating the election atmosphere. He urged the officials to raise the bar further on voter turnout, gender, youth and urban electors participation.
Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey asked the officials for strict action against anti social elements, follow up of pending NBWs and strict vigil during the silence period to ensure elections without fear and favor. While emphasizing scope of improvement in illicit liquor seizures, he directed officials to act against kingpins, prevent stockpiling of liquor and ensuring no diversion of molasses meant for export or any other use as defined by law.
Election Commissioner Shri Arun Goel asked the officials to tighten the vigilance without causing inconvenience to the public and ensure a thorough follow up post seizure operations. He said that the objective of this review is to sensitize neighboring states also to put in best efforts for smooth conduct of elections.
Additional Secretary (Police) MHA, IG (CRPF), Executive Director (T.T & Coaching) Railways, and senior officials from the Commission were also present in the meeting.