Chief Election Commissioner of India Syed Nasim Zaidi on Sunday declined to comment on Arvind Kejriwal’s comments wherein he had said he would challenge the EC’s order censuring him for his statement that voters should take money offered by rival parties but vote for AAP.
“ECI has passed the order. The commission would not like to join the (debate over) issue. Commission order is clear and it is available in public domain and we won’t like to comment on it,” Zaidi told reporters in Goa, when asked for his reaction on Kejriwal’s statement.
The Election Commission had on Saturday censured Kejriwal for his bribe remarks made at a poll rally in Goa and said if he continues to violate the model code of conduct, stern action would be taken against him and his party, including suspension or withdrawal of recognition to AAP.
The AAP chief had later termed “illegal, unconstitutional and wrong” the EC order censuring him and said, “I would be challenging the Election Commission’s order.”Meanwhile, Goa will be the first state in the country to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballots to service voters during the upcoming Assembly elections.
“The Returning Officers will transfer the postal ballots to these service voters by electronic means so that the service voters can download it, fill it and send it to returning officer by e-mail,” Zaidi said.
He said sending postal ballots by electronic means will cut down the time in transmitting them to the service voters.
“We hope that large number of our service voters will be able to utilise this facility. This would be the first in region and around the globe. That is a matter of great pride for all of us,” the CEC said.
Also, all Assembly constituencies in the state will have the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
“This will be used all over the state to ensure transparency of the process to the voter. It will assure the voter that his vote has gone to the right candidate,” he said.
The ECI has taken steps to keep a check on casinos, state border and airport, to ensure free and fair polls.
“There was a fear that casinos can be misused with respect to cash withdrawal and distribution. This morning itself we have reviewed with state administration and Director General of Police and in particular, we have roped-in senior officials from Karnataka and Goa into the process,” Zaidi said.
He said an Air Intelligence Unit has been deployed at Dabolim airport to the check movement of money or any undesirable elements through flights.
He also said Income Tax department is keeping a close watch on “clandestine currency exchanges and the movement of money through banking channels. We have directed Returning Officers that affidavits filed by candidates must be uploaded so that IT officials can carry out real time scrutiny of these affidavits under IT laws.”