EC to keep strict vigil to check flow of money into HP

New Delhi: In the wake of confiscation of over Rs 40 lakh of ill-gotten money from various parts of election-bound Himachal Pradesh, the Election Commission is keeping a strict vigil across the inter-state borders, especially with Punjab, during the November 4 assembly polls.

To curb misuse of money power during elections, the EC has identified at least five assembly constituencies, including Una, Haroli, Solan, out of a total of 68 where expenditure observers will monitor if money power is used.

The EC has appointed as many as 28 expenditure observers in the hill state, where electioneering will peak after the last date for withdrawal of nominations on October 20.

Incidentally, the expenditure observers are more than the 26 general observers and one police observer appointed by the Commission to ensure smooth, free and fair elections and to monitor the law and order situation during the polls.

“Fearing the flow of money into Himachal Pradesh from Punjab, we will keep a strict vigil in areas bordering Punjab and will monitor the situation,” a top EC official told PTI.

Sources said the Commission has confiscated Rs 24 lakh from Kangra district alone and a total of Rs 40 lakh from across the state in the last few days, with people carrying the money failing to provide evidence on the source of money.

The Commission has also appointed two expenditure observers in Bharmour assembly constituency of Chamba district and one each in Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur constituencies due to geographical reasons.