No proof of use of money power during polls: CEO

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Irked with the frequent assertions of ‘use of money power’ in the recently-held Assembly election in Meghalaya, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P Naik on Saturday said none of the people are in a position to either prove or dis-prove the use of money power in the February 23 election.

Speaking to a group of journalists here on Saturday, Naik said, “People are talking about the use of money power but none of them are in position to prove or dis-prove it.”

The CEO made the statement in view of the fact that the legislators in the ongoing Assembly session have been continuously questioning the role of money power in the election.

“Why only the candidates are becoming the targets and no body seems to be focusing on the ‘takers’ who are in large numbers?” Naik questioned.

It may be mentioned that Shillong West legislator Paul Lyngdoh (UDP) had recently, on the floor of the House, blamed ‘money power’ for ‘eroding’ the quality of legislators elected to the Assembly.

“The candidates have not come from planet Mars but they are from the same society which we belong,” he said.

Lyngdoh was also of the opinion that money power has become more dangerous than the threat from underground outfits.

“Givers are few but takers are more,” Naik said while adding that the cooperation of even the takers are required if the issue is to be addressed completely.

Pointing out that there were hardly any complaints about ‘bribery’ in the election, the CEO said that hardly any cases regarding the use of money power has been proved.

He also said the Election Commission has its own limitations, while adding that it can do only lip service to a certain point after which it cannot do anything.

Naik also asserted that the Election Commission did whatever it could to check the use of money power in the election.

The CEO, further, observed that the society has to come together and play a major role to address the issue of money power during elections.

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