Lucknow: With Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections round the corner, the Election Commission is all set to keep strict vigil on the star campaigners of different political parties. Giving directives to the parties in the state, the EC has asked them to submit the list of campaigners within seven days of the election notification.

In a meeting attended by national and state level political party representatives, Chief Election Officer Umesh Sinha informed all the parties that they will have to submit the details of their expenditure incurred during political campaign within 75 days of the election date. It includes investment on Independent candidates, posters, construction of dais, hoardings, promotion in newspapers and electronic media.

According to the Commission, every party can include 40 star supporters in their list. The details of the itinerary of the campaigners will include expenditure on helicopter or airplanes for promotional tour. This has to be sent to the EC within three days.

More so, the contesting candidate has to open a separate account by his name a day before the nomination. If a candidate wishes to withdraw Rs 20,000 or above, he will have to make the payment through cheque only. The candidates could also hire an election expenditure agent to maintain details of his account and expenditure during poll.

Besides, the Commission has made amendments in oath letter submitted during the nomination. A candidate will be required to provide PAN number and details of Income Tax returns of his family members as well. They will have to provide details of the property owned by them.

2012 poll: EC to deploy revenue officials

With a view to keep an eye on the expenditures made by the political parties during election campaign, the Election Commission has decided to deploy 204 senior revenue officers in the five poll-bound states including Uttar Pradesh.

The officers will be required to keep a tab on the usage of blackmoney during the political campaigns. In a meeting scheduled on January 2, 2012, the Commission will allocate states and regions to the respective revenue officers.

As per the information received by the Commission, workers will be deployed to assist these officers. The Officials from Revenue Department will remain in contact with the local units and Chief Election Commissioner of the state to prohibit wrong doings at the time of elections.

Despite several efforts made by the EC to conduct fair and transparent elections, all efforts seem to fall flat. Though it made mandatory for political parties to make payment through cheques, the foul plays witnessed during Tamil Nadu assembly elections have forced the Commission to be on tenterhooks this time.

Therefore, it has planned to deploy Expenditure Observers in large numbers this year for the forthcoming election. Recently, the EC in its letter to senior revenue officers in the five poll-bound states has asked them to keep a check on the hawala agents.

JPN/Bureau