The Election Commission has deployed over 60 expenditure observers in the three poll-bound states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland to check the flow of illegal inducements and cash at the hustings. Officials said while 22 such observers have been sent to Nagaland, 21 have been dispatched to Meghalaya and 19 have been tasked with covering the state of Tripura. A total of 62 observers have been deployed at present. Few more can be sent later, if a need arises, they said. The observers are drawn from the Income Tax department and other central services, they said. These officials will report to the Election Expenditure Monitoring (EEM) wing of the Election Commission (EC) established at Nirvachan Sadan, the poll panel’s headquarters, here. Illegal cash, liquor, drugs and other items may be used during the polls in these three states. The special EC observers’ team will keep a check on these instances, they said.
The poll body had, on January 18, announced the poll dates for the north eastern states. While the assembly elections in Tripura will be held on February 18, in Meghalaya and Nagaland, it will be held on February 27. The counting of votes in all three states will take place on March 3. The term of the Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura assemblies is ending on March 6, March 13 and March 14, respectively. The three assemblies have 60 members each.