After the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) repeatedly raked up a charge that the National People’s Party (NPP) had not filed its expense report and other documentation after the 2018 election, the Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, said today that the ruling party has, belatedly, done so.
The CEC of the Election Commission of India explained that the rules provide for political parties to file their financial and contribution reports in a prescribed manner.
When the TMC made its complaint, the NPP had not filed its reports, Kumar explained.
Apart from the election-specific report, political parties also have to file annual reports but delays are not uncommon, he added.
“There were varying levels of delays by various parties in various elections,” Kumar said. “They (the NPP) have now filed. We have made the filing process far more robust, so all over the country there were many who have not done it.”
Meanwhile, all police officers in the state have been told to be extra vigilant with Meghalaya set to go to the polls shortly, Kumar said.
The CEC informed that the general law and order situation is under control and peaceful and they will ensure that it remains so during the elections.
He added that, concerning paramilitary forces, there will be three kinds of randomizations so that there is no doubt about impartiality.
All the paramilitary forces will be randomised as to where they are posted, along with the central observer, CEO and the state nodal officer, so that they are properly and effectively utilised in an impartial manner.
A second level of randomisation will apply to polling officials and also to the voting machines.
Asked about the parties like the TMC and NPP promising jobs and financial assistance, Kumar said that as per the existing law and as per the existing democratic practices, they have a right to make promises to the voters and it is also the voters’ right to know what is being promised and also to an extent is it feasible or would it be implementable or not.
“The debate is going on in the country on this particular aspect but, as of now, the announcements cannot be curbed directly. So, when the MCC (model code of conduct) comes into play we’ll look at all this,” Kumar said.