As Goa approaches the assembly elections the state’s Chief Electoral Office (CEO) has announced plans of setting up of a multidisciplinary task force. It will be responsible for making sure that goods aren’t used to affect the voter’s choices. Members of the task force will be choosen from Income tax (IT), Narcotics, Customs, Excise, commercial and others.
Many candidates are known to distribute bikes, electronics and household goods to voters in return for their votes. These gestures influence their choices greatly. “The CEO in its order issued to State Commercial Taxes department has directed that the sale of bikes, electronic and household items of more than Rs 5,000 each should be strictly monitored,” a senior official from CEO office told PTI.
Besides the task force, traders have been informed to report large orders of any goods. Excise department will keep an eye on bars and liquor shops. The police has been asked by the CEO to inform distributors of milk, vegetables, newspapers etc. not to become channels for candidates to distribute goods or cash.
According to the directions from the Election Commission of India (ECI), all political advertisements will have to be removed within 24 hours from government properties, within 48 hours from public spaces and within 72 hours from private spaces once the poll dates are announced in the state.