New Delhi, February 24: Taking note of media reports citing candidates bribing voters in the ongoing assembly elections, the Election Commission of India has directed district election officers to register FIRs immediately against the culprits.
A recent sting operation by India Today showed camera footage of 3 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, including BSP’s Ateeq Ahmad Saifi (Moradabad), SP’s Atul Garg (Agra North) and Peace Party’s Rakesh Balmeeki (Agra Cantt).
In an official statement, the poll panel cited that as per the evidence three candidates were found to commit offenses like making statements for bribing voters, suppressing election expenses and threatening to attempt booth capturing (in case of Rakesh Balmeeki) respectively.
Directing district election officers to file FIRs against the candidates as per the Representation of People Act, 1951, the poll panel has also sought an action report by Saturday.
In another case, the Election Commission has issued a show-cause notice to BJP candidate Woba Joram after the reports related to outrageous expenses in election appeared.
Woba Joram in the report admits to have already spent Rs 2.02 crore for the present election and said voters in his constituency would be bribed in cash for vote in his favour.
The Election Commission notice to Joram says “the maximum limit for election expenditure in the State is Rs 20,00,000 and any expenditure beyond the said limit will amount to corrupt practices” under the Representation of People Act.
It also says that bribing a voter is an offence under the Indian Penal Code and EC seeks a reply by Saturday.