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    Flying squads in Puducherry to be increased

    Puducherry: In a bid to curb malpractices ahead of the April 13 polls in Puducherry, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi on Tuesday said the number of flying squads in the Union Territory would be increased to 30 from ten.

    Talking to reporters after meeting political party leaders and officials, Qureshi said some party leaders had mentioned at the meeting that "cash was being given or was going to be distributed in large amount to voters".

    In order to prevent malpractices and also ensure strict adherence to model code of conduct in the Union Territory, he said election authorities would increase the number of flying squads to 30 from the present ten so that each of the 30 segments in Puducherry would have a flying squad.

    He said there was also a complaint that "some ante-dated cheques have been issued from out of the Chief Minister's Relief Fund". Qureshi said the Puducherry Chief Secretary had been asked to go into the issue and submit a detailed report to the EC in a day or two.

    The CEC said some political parties had mentioned at the meeting that many voters may have lost Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) and therefore wanted such people to be permitted to identify themselves on the basis of alternative documents to exercise their franchise or be issued duplicate EPIC cards.