Seizures worth Rs 4,658 crore since March, 44% of them drugs: Election Commission | India News

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NEW DELHI: As money-power tries to alter the electoral level playing field, different law enforcement agencies have been working overtime, seizing Rs 100 crore worth of poll inducements each day since March 1 and with the polling yet to start.
The Election Commission, which has been coordinating the agencies’ crackdown on poll inducements in the form of unexplained cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals and freebies, said it is “on track for the highest-ever seizures recorded in the 75-year history of Lok Sabha polls”.
The total value of progressive seizures made between March 1 and April 13 comes to a whopping Rs 4,658 crore, which is 33% more than the Rs 3,476-crore seizures made during the entire general election process in 2019.
Narcotics and drugs constitute over 44% of Rs 4,658 crore seizures since March 1, while freebies account for 24.5%.
If the value of seizures made in January and February – at the behest of EC which has been pushing all the central and state agencies to keep a tight check on misuse of financial resources much before the polls were announced – are also added, the value of progressive seizures of cash, liquor, drugs and other freebies till April 13 would be a staggering Rs 12,000 crore.
The commission, in a statement on Monday, attributed the success of its crackdown on money power – one of the ‘4M’ challenges listed by chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar, the other being ‘musclepower, misinformation and model code violations’ – to its comprehensive planning, scaled-up collaboration and unified deterrence action by the agencies, proactive citizenship participation and optimal engagement of technology.
Of the seizures worth Rs 4,658 crore between March 1 and April 13, cash accounted for over Rs 395 crore (8.5%), liquor Rs 489 crore (10.5%), drugs Rs 2,069 crore (44.5%), precious metals Rs 562 crore (12%) and freebies Rs 1,143 crore (24.5%).
In the last general election, total progressive seizures were valued at Rs 3,476 crore, comprising cash worth Rs 844 crore (24.2%), liquor worth Rs 304 crore (8.8%), drugs worth Rs 1,280 crore (36.8%), precious metals worth Rs 987 crore (28.4%) and freebies worth Rs 60 crore (1.7%).

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