Home > News > EC makes record seizure worth over Rs 1,000 crore in ongoing assembly elections | India News

EC makes record seizure worth over Rs 1,000 crore in ongoing assembly elections | India News

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New Delhi: Total seizures of unaccounted cash, liquor, drugs, freebies etc in the current polls to five state/UT assemblies have crossed Rs 1,000 crore, surpassing the figure recorded in all past assembly electoral processes. The cumulative seizures in the last round of these state polls in 2016 was just Rs 226 crore.
While the rise in overall seizures across the five states/UTs comes to nearly 343% since 2016, West Bengal alone has seen the seizures rise almost 581% from Rs 44 crore to Rs 300 crore as on April 15. Four phases of polling are still remaining in West Bengal, with the next phase scheduled for Saturday.
Among the four states of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and UT of Puducherry, total seizures in West Bengal still remain less than Rs 446 crore recorded in Tamil Nadu, where the single-phase poll was completed on April 6. Assam reported seizures worth Rs 122 crore, Kerala Rs 85 crore and Puducherry Rs 37 crore.
Seizures of cash in all the five states as well as bye-elections as on April 15 totalled Rs 345 crore, liquor Rs 85 crore, drugs Rs 162 crore, freebies Rs 139 crore and precious metals Rs 271 crore.
West Bengal so far has reported seizures of Rs 51 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 30 crore, drugs worth Rs 119 crore, freebies worth Rs 88 crore and precious metals worth Rs 12 crore.
The seizure of cash was highest in Tamil Nadu (Rs 237 crore), liquor highest in Assam (Rs 42 crore), drugs highest in West Bengal (Rs 119 crore), freebies highest in West Bengal (Rs 88 crore) and precious metals highest in Tamil Nadu (Rs 176 crore).
The EC had in these polls deployed 5 special expenditure observers and 321 expenditure
observers for close monitoring. Also, 259 assembly constituencies were marked as expenditure-sensitive constituencies for more focussed vigil.
“The stupendous rise in seizure figures is because of better preparedness and multi-pronged strategy of the Commission. The Commission conducted exhaustive reviews at various levels which included review meetings with enforcement agencies of the states/UT, meetings with revenue secretary; CBDT chairman; CBIC chairman & Director FIU-Ind for inter-agency cooperation and real-time sharing of intelligence,” EC said on Friday.
EC also convened meetings with secretaries, principal secretaries (home), DGPs, secretary excise/excise commissioners, DGs Income Tax, police & CAPF nodal officers of all poll-bound states/UT & neighbouring states, as well as with MHA and railway officials, to ensure comprehensive monitoring.
As per law, distributing cash and gifts during the electoral process with the intent to influence voters is not permitted and such expenditure comes under the definition of “bribery” which is an offence both under 171B of IPC and under R.P. Act, 1951. The expenditure on such items is illegal. The drive against the menace of money power will continue with vigour in the remaining phases of elections and the seizure figures are expected to even further.

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