The Indian Express

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Gujarat on Sunday said that use of “money power is the main problem” during polls.

Addressing a workshop organised in the run-up to the Assembly elections, CEO Anita Karwal said that “direct intelligence” from the public can help counter any malpractices during elections, including misuse of money.

Director General (Expenditure) of Election Commission P K Dash said efforts are being made to control the use of illicit money in elections. “There is a great need to reduce the role of money in elections as it creates an uneven playing field; it vitiates democracy,” he said.

“There is also a risk of foreign funding for political parties to destabilise the polity and use of money for bribing of MLAs for Rajya Sabha elections,” he added.

The meet was convened by the Gujarat Election Watch (GEW), the state chapter of National Election Watch — a conglomeration of over 1,200 civil society organisations working on political and electoral reforms.

GEW co-ordinator Jagdeep Chhokar said their initiative

to check criminal elements in politics and misuse of money during elections was launched today and they would be working with the Election Commission on various poll-related issues.

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