Karnataka 2018

Pre-poll seizures cross ₹136 crore in Karnataka

Picture for representational purpose only. File

Picture for representational purpose only. File   | Photo Credit: PTI


More money and liquor seem to be flowing in this election than in the past, which could be an indicator of how fiercely the elections to the Assembly are being fought across the State. Still 13 days to go, a record of sorts, with the seizure of cash and freebies used to induce voters, has been set with total seizures exceeding ₹136 crore.

On Monday, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said the cash component seized after the model code of conduct came into force on March 27 alone was ₹55.16 crore, while 4.8 lakh litres of liquor worth ₹22.15 crore has been seized.

Of the total ₹39.11 crore freebies seized, precious metals, including gold jewellery amounted to ₹21.42 crore as over 50 kg of gold or gold jewellery has been seized.

Besides the election machinery, the Income Tax Department has seized ₹19.42 crore cash in the same period.

In fact, Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, during his last visit to the State, had said that cash, liquor and freebies being distributed in the State was a matter of concern for the commission.

Earlier seizures

In comparison, when the model code of conduct was in place in 2013 Assembly polls and 2014 general elections, EC officials had seized ₹13.42 crore and ₹28.08 crore respectively. As for liquor, officials had seized 67,953 litres in 2013 and 44,924 in 2014. While ₹6.78 crore worth of freebies had been seized in 2014, no freebies were seized in 2013, as per statistics provided by the EC.

On the huge seizures being made, a senior official acknowledged that there is more flow of cash and other material in this election. “The enforcement has been strict too,” said Mr. Sanjiv Kumar, adding that barring a few districts, enforcements have been good.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 1:01:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-2018/its-a-record-total-seizures-cross-136-crore-so-far/article23733481.ece

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