Assembly elections | Cash, drugs worth over ₹200 crore seized since announcement of pollsNEW DELHI January 26, 2022 19:29 IST
Punjab, Manipur account for a large amount of illicit drugs and Uttar Pradesh for cash.
Authorities in the five States where elections were announced on January 8 had seized cash, drugs, liquor and other inducements worth over ₹200 crore so far, a senior Election Commission official said.
The official said the value of the seized items in Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand polls had reached ₹200 crore on Monday, with Punjab and Manipur accounting for a large amount of the illicit drugs and Uttar Pradesh for cash.
According to the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday, drugs worth ₹2.81 crore and ₹1.74 crore cash had been seized starting January 10. Three FIRs had also been lodged in connection with the “inducements”.
Authorities in Goa had seized cash, drugs and alcohol worth ₹2.93 crore so far, Chief Electoral Officer Kunal said on Wednesday. He said enforcement by the authorities had been good on all fronts and most cases lodged pertained to violation of COVID-19-related rules.
In Punjab, the Chief Electoral Officer’s Twitter handle on Wednesday said 3,675 complaints of Model Code of Conduct violation had been received through the Election Commission’s cVigil app till Tuesday. All of them had been disposed — the highest being in Ludhiana — and 2,720 of them were found to be correct.
During the last set of Assembly elections in 2021 (Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala), the EC had announced seizures of cash, drugs, liquor, precious metals and other freebies worth over ₹ 1,000 crore. In a statement in April 2021, the EC had said the value of the seizures had crossed ₹1,000 crore for the first time in any Assembly election process.