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30.10.2018
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In the second election since its formation in 2014, the big players have been accused of misusing the media and splurging cash and goodies to rope in the voter. Telangana votes on December 7 and the results would be announced on December 11.

The Election Commission of India has acknowledged this problem. Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said that the political parties voiced their apprehension over large scale of abuse of money, distribution freebies and liquor and misuse of social media and fake media. He said the Election Commission was interacting with heads of social media platforms and would organize workshops with them to strengthen arrangements to prevent any adverse impact on elections.

The CEC said some parties raised concern about alleged presence of intelligence officers of a neighbouring state and the likely impact of advertisements by political parties in that state on the election process in Telangana.

The EC team took note of concerns and suggestions of the parties and assured that it will put in place an effective mechanism to ensure smooth conduct of entire poll process in free, fair and inclusive manner.

The two major challenges before the EC is the abuse of money power and the inflow of liquor. The EC has every reason to worry about. The highest amount of cash seized was from an undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2014. Incidentally the cash seized accounted for more than half the total money seized across India. In AP alone the cash seized amounted to Rs 154 crore, while the all India number stood at Rs 303 crore.

In this context one must also note that the three richest MPs in the current Lok Sabha are from Andhra and Telangana. Data provided by the Association for Democratic Reforms states that TDP's Jayadeva Galla from Guntur is top on the list with assets over Rs 683 crore.

He is followed by Konda Vishweshwar of the TRS from Chelvella with Rs 528 crore. The BJP's Gokaraju Gangaraju from Narsapuram comes third with Rs 288 crore.

The luring of the voter with cash has already been caught on camera recently. Ravinder Reddy of the TRS who is contesting from Yallareddy was recently caught on camera offering voters Rs 5, if they voted for him. In the video the women voters were also seen bargaining with him.

Nayini Narasimha, the Home Minister of the state landed himself in a controversy after he said that KCR had offered Rs 10 crore for his electoral expenses, if he agreed to contest from a different constituency. He however backtracked on his statement later.

The ECI apart from using its squad to keep a track of the money flow would also use an application to curb the flow of money in the elections. C-Vigil an application would be used in this regard. Through this application, the people can upload photographs or videos of violations of the model code of conduct.

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