Shimla: To ensure fair and inducement-free elections in the state, the Election Commission has set up a Control Room-cum-Complaint Cell to check the violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The Income Tax Department has set up a 24×7 Centralized Control Room-cum-Complaint Monitoring Cell in their office at Shimla having a toll-free number 1800-180-8089 to keep a strict vigil to curb the use of black money during the election process. 

The Excise Department has also set up a 24×7 control room with having toll-free number 1800-180-8062, where complaints related to excise violations can be directly lodged.

Furthermore, flying squads and static surveillance teams have been constituted in the state to keep vigil over excessive campaign expenses, distribution of items of bribe in cash or kind, movement of illegal arms, ammunition, liquor or anti-social elements in the Assembly Constituencies (ACs) in the state.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg on Tuesday said that the Election Department has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) guidelines and any violation would be strictly dealt with.

30,369 hoardings, posters etc. removed

Taking swift action in the matter of the defacement of public property and misuse of public space, a total of 30,369 hoardings, posters, banners and flags and wall writings have been removed in all the districts within 48 hours of announcement of elections by the Election Department.

As many as 3439 in Chamba, 4338 in Kangra, 498 in Lahaul-Spiti, 875 in Kullu, 3319 in Mandi, 1693 in Hamirpur, 6679 in Una, 698 in Bilaspur, 1302 in Solan, 3473 in Sirmaur, 3782 in Shimla and 273 hoardings, posters, banners and flags and wall writings in Kinnaur district have been removed.

“All the departments have been directed not to have any photographs of political functionaries on their websites,” said CEO Maneesh Garg.

“As many as 126 websites of government departments, boards and corporations have been checked and it has been ensured that they have been made compliant with the directions” he added.

He further said that in compliance with the instructions issued by the ECI, the Election Department is taking swift, effective and stringent action for enforcement of MCC during the first 72 hours of announcement of the election schedule, besides maintaining extra vigil and strict enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.