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No Evidence Against Monserratte Wooing Voters: SEC

The State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday said that there is no evidence against Education Minister Atanasio Monseratte trying to woo voters with the goodies.
State Election Commissioner Dr. D. M. Modassir said although there have been several media reports and claims, no one has provided us with concrete evidence against Monserratte. He said nothing has been found even thought the returning officer conducted inquiry into the entire episode.

Monserratte’s panel is pitted against BJP backed Panaji First panel in the polls, which will be held on 13th March. Several newspapers in the state have carried news about goodies being distributed to woo voters from the lower strata.
“Not a single person came forward to give complaint. We also contacted Editor of the newspaper asking for details but he also refused seeking journalistic issues,” Modassir said.
Modassir said that he has come across several allegations and counter allegations through newspapers but there is no single complaint in writing. He stated that there are five different types of observers, who can be approached with the complaint about violation of code of conduct.
The election officials said that they went door to door to verify on the claims of violation of code of conduct. “But people began asking whether we have search warrants to peep in their houses or search them,” Modassir said adding that in absence of any proof, establishing case against anyone is difficult.
Meanwhile, Ashley Abel Rosario, an independent candidate contesting from Ward XI, in his complaint to the commission had claimed that corner meeting was held in the precincts of a chapel in the city by Monserratte, which is in violation of code of conduct.
Modassir said that the inquiry was conducted into Rosario’s complaint and it was found that the meeting was held on the footpath of the chapel. The inquiry has not mentioned whether Monserratte was present for the meeting or not. 

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