New Delhi: Observing the incidents of paid news during polls, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) S Y Quraishi said elections had become the biggest source for corruption in India.

"Election has become the biggest source of corruption in India today. The incidents of paid news in particular are on the rise in the country. A total of 86 cases of paid news have been brought to our notice and people have been pulled up for it," Quraishi said delivering a lecture in the capital.

Expressing confidence in plugging out corruption, the CEC said, “Treatises between media houses and political outfits was disturbing.”

"First it was surrogate advertising, now political parties and media houses have become even more daring by disguising election manifestos as editorials. This is not just unethical but disturbing but we are closely monitoring this," he said.

He also raised concerns about state-funding of elections, saying the process would "further fuel corruption."

Quraishi promised that those having "distortions" in their expenditure list during the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry will be pulled up.

"If at the end of the campaigning there is the slightest suggestion of the candidate having misused the money, we will look into the matter," he said.

(Agencies)