Party workers to keep an eye on 'cash for votes' instances

Some workers feel the EC and police are not doing enough to stop the distribution of money before elections; say they will watch out for this themselves

While the Election Commission (EC) and police are depending on their own systems to nab people who pay voters to vote for them, some parties claim the measures are not enough, and are all set to keep an eye on the same.

Mangesh Joshi, nodal officer of the Model Code of Conduct cell, said, “We have deputed video surveillance teams in every constituency to watch for malpractices. In total, we have 125 squads in 21 constituencies in the district.”

When asked if any specific measures are being taken to focus on Tuesday night, when such instances could increase, for Wednesday is election day, he said, “If anyone comes across any incident of money distribution, or luring voters through gifts, he or she can contact the returning officer of the concerned constituency. We will immediately lodge cases in such instances.”

However, he did not say what, besides registering a case against the concerned person, would be other action the EC would take. Sudhir Dhawde, city president of the MNVS, said, “The ongoing measures by the EC seem to be insufficient, and despite several raids by the police, money is still being distributed in the city.”

He added, “We know for sure from our sources that one of the candidates from Kothrud constituency is distributing at least Rs 2,000 per vote, but till date no action has been taken against him. But today and tomorrow night, our MNS workers are going to roam in slums like Jai Bhavaninagar, Kelewadi, Laxminagar, where that candidate’s workers are luring voters. If we find anyone doing so, we will haul them to the police station.”

“We have been keeping a watch in Peth areas. Only a couple of days ago, NCP candidate Deepak Mankar from Kasba approached the police against Congress candidate Rohit Tilak, alleging Tilak’s workers were distributing silver coins to voters. We are not going to spare anyone if we come across such instances on the eve of the election,” Vishal Dhanawde, Shiv Sena head in Kasba constituency, said.

Meanwhile, police have seized R40 lakh from two people travelling in a state transport bus, at Khalapur toll naka on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Monday afternoon. The money was being taken from Mumbai to Sangli.

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