EC makes seizures worth Rs 1,760 crore in 5 poll-going states; figures likely to rise



Daily Thanthi


NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Monday said over Rs 1,760 crore worth of freebies, drugs, cash, liquor and precious metals aimed at inducing voters in the five poll-going states have been seized so far. The poll panel said the seizures made since the polls were announced on October 9 are over seven times (Rs 239.15 crore) the seizures made in the previous assembly elections in these states in 2018. The three state polls have already been held and voting for Rajasthan and Telangana will take place on November 25 and 30 respectively. An EC functionary pointed out that while announcing the poll schedule for the five states, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had stressed on inducement-free elections to ensure a level-playing field for all candidates and parties. This time, the commission has also embedded technology into the monitoring process through the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS) which brought a wide array of central and state enforcement agencies together for better coordination and intelligence-sharing, the statement said. According to the EC, no cash or precious metal was seized in Mizoram, but drugs worth Rs 29.82 crore were recovered by authorities. The poll panel has deployed 228 officers from various services as expenditure observers. For close monitoring, 194 assembly constituencies were marked as expenditure sensitive seats. The figures of seizures are expected to rise, it said.