The EC has directed Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of five poll-bound states to ask top police brass that cash transfers during the election period be done under the protection of cops and that they be kept “informed” about such movements from banks or currency chests. The Election Commission, in its directives to the CEOs of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, has cited the standing orders of the poll-body in this regard even as it appended the recent instructions issued by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Finance Ministry on the subject.
The DFS has said the “operating procedure for transportation of cash by banks and transfer of currency from one chest to another operated by the banks within the state or inter-state level as laid down in the above mentioned letters shall be followed scrupulously.” “(CEOs) are also requested to kindly advise the Directors General and Commissioners of Police to ensure adequate police protection for the safe, secure and speedy inter-state and intra-state movement of currency chests to the various bank branches/ATMs at some places where banks may apprehend security concerns and while doing so, the police authorities shall have to keep the CEO informed in the poll going states,” it added.
The EC directives on transportation of cash are seen in the backdrop of an incident in poll-bound Tamil Nadu last year, when three trucks carrying Rs 570 crore were intercepted by EC-appointed surveillance teams. Between February 4 and March 8, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur will go for assembly polls and the model code of conduct came into force on January 4 when the EC announced the election schedule.