Dehradun: In order to conduct free and fair elections in the country, the Election Commission of India is mulling to formulate a stringent policy which will prevent the public representatives from utilizing the maximum funds allotted to them for development works in the election year.

Previously, several cases had been brought to the knowledge of Election Commission where public representatives including MPs and MLAs used their maximum fund during the election year to woo the voters. Taking the issue into account, the Election Commission has decided to term any such move by public representatives as an act of bribe.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) SY Quraishi told media persons, “Unequal utilization of funds at constituency level on the recommendations of MLA and MP in the poll years would be construed as a bribe to lure the voters.”

He said, “10 states will go for polls next year, each possible step is being taken to conduct free and fair election.”

The CEC said the committee would be constituted to check the paid news. A special thrust is being given on imparting training to the voters. On the matter of holding Assembly polls early in Uttarakhand, Quresi said decision would be taken after assessing the situation.

The Commission has also sought suggestions from the political parties on the issue of holding early elections in state. The Commission has held review meeting with the top officials of Uttarakhand including the Chief Secretary and District Magistrates.