New Delhi: In a move to ensure free and fair polls in five states, Election Commission on Monday directed 1200 observers to keep a hawk eye on movement of unaccounted cash and any violation of the model code.

At a day-long briefing, the full commission headed by S Y Quraishi and comprising V S Sampath and H S Brahma, apprised the observers in detail of their duties with special focus on measures to check use of black money in the polls.

The observers were also briefed about upkeep of EVMs, checking of voters' slips and other drills to be followed during the 'code of conduct' period and during actual polls in states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

The EC also asked the observers to keep in touch with the 24X7 control room created exclusively for the Assembly polls at its headquarters here and report every instance of cash movement and any other instances of poll code violation to it.

Complimenting them for their good performance in the past elections, Quraishi said election management in India has become an example for the world and several countries now wish to learn skills from ECI and asked them to ensure quick redressal of complaints.

The EC had recently announced a seven-phase polls in Uttar Pradesh between February 4 and 28 and single phase elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.

Punjab and Uttarakhand will go to polls on January 30, while elections will be held in Manipur on January 28 and in Goa on March 3.

The counting of votes in all the states will be held on March 4.

(Agencies)