Guwahati: Assam Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nitin Khade on Monday urged political parties to cooperate with the authorities during the forthcoming assembly elections to ensure free and fair elections.

Khade in a meeting with the representatives of the political parties sought their cooperation for curbing activities involving illicit liquor, abuse of money and muscle power and restrictions on campaign activities 48 hours before polling begins.

Regarding expenditure guidelines, the CEO highlighted that the maximum amount a candidate can spend on his or her campaign is Rs 30.8 lakh.

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The meeting was attended by representatives of political parties like the Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI (M), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Indian National Congress (INC), an official release said.

Additional CEOs- Vinod Seshan and Debaprasad Mishra- in a separate interaction with mediapersons appealed for strict compliance of guidelines for publication of advertisements of the political parties, desisting from paid news and adhering to the provisions underlined under Section 127 (A) of RP Act, 1951.

Joint CEO and the state nodal officer (Media) Rahul Chandra Das said that the total number of polling booths and duration of polling hours have been increased by one hour this year in view of the COVID-19 protocol.

The frontline workers and officials related to election process will be vaccinated as per directions given by Election Commission of India, he added.

Meanwhile, the investigating wing of the income tax department, Guwahati has set up a control room in 24×7 basis till April six to curb the use of black money for electoral purposes and prevent monetary inducement by any person/persons or parties in the forthcoming polls.

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