The comprehensive planning, reviews and follow-ups by Election Commission of India involving active participation of enforcement agencies have led to record seizures in the ongoing Assembly elections in the States of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. On occasion of announcement of dates for Gujarat Assembly Elections, 2022, Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Rajiv Kumar stressed on inducement-free elections and cited the significant amount of seizures made in Himachal Pradesh.
As a drive, the results are encouraging with Gujarat witnessing seizures of Rs 71.88 crores in just few days of announcement of elections which surpasses even the seizures made in entire duration of enforcement of Model Code of Conduct in Assembly Elections, 2017 which was Rs 27.21 crores.
Similarly, the seizures in Himachal Pradesh are also significant amounting to Rs 50.28 crores as compared to Rs 9.03 crores, marking more than five-fold increase. Further, if citizens become vigilant and use cVigil App more extensively, it would go a long way in curbing money power in the elections.
The process of effective expenditure monitoring starts months before the announcement of elections and includes host of activities like appointment of experienced officers as Expenditure Observers, sensitizing and reviewing enforcement agencies for more coordinated and comprehensive monitoring, marking of expenditure sensitive constituencies, ensuring planning of adequate availability of field level teams in the monitoring process and regular follow-ups with DEOs/SPs with a view to curb role of money-power in vitiating elections.Visits by Commission to review the electoral preparedness along with the review of Central Observers and DEOs, SPs has already been taken for comprehensive monitoring.