Friday, Oct 31, 2003
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By Our Legal Correspondent
This was decided at a meeting of the observers for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram convened here today by the Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh.
Considering the large number of poll-related complaints being received by the commission, Mr. Lyngdoh asked the observers to be firm and perform their duty fearlessly as they were working directly under the commission. He said observers should keep their "eyes and ears open" and enforce the Model Code of Conduct. Two other Election Commissioners, T.S. Krishnamurthy and B.B. Tandon, also addressed the observers.
Commission sources said the decision to make display of election expenses by each candidate mandatory was taken considering the fact that this would be a high profile election with candidates expected to exceed the ceiling in the expenses fixed by the commission.
The present ceiling on expenses per constituency in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh is Rs. 10 lakhs, Delhi Rs. 9 lakhs and Mizoram Rs. 5 lakhs.
The sources said that of the 500 observers, 150 had been specifically asked to monitor the expenditure of each candidate in the fray and all of them would tour the constituencies from November 11.
Such a watchdog mechanism on poll expenses was expected to bring the desired results in putting a check on the expenses.
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