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  India   Politics  16 Apr 2024  ECI seized Rs 100 cr daily since March 1, Rs 4,650 cr seized so far

ECI seized Rs 100 cr daily since March 1, Rs 4,650 cr seized so far

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 16, 2024, 2:16 am IST
Updated : Apr 16, 2024, 2:16 am IST

In comparison, the total seizure was Rs 3,475 crore during the entire Lok Sabha election campaign 2019

The ECI said the crackdown will continue to be strict and non-stop.
 The ECI said the crackdown will continue to be strict and non-stop.

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has been seizing approximately Rs 100 crore every day since March 1 and the total has reached the highest-ever figure of Rs 4,658 crore four days before the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections begin on April 19. The model code for the seven-phase polls began on March 16.

In comparison, the total seizure was Rs 3,475 crore during the entire Lok Sabha election campaign 2019. Significantly, 45 per cent of the seizures are in the form of drugs and narcotics, valued at Rs 2,069 crore. The cash component stood at Rs 395 crore and liquor Rs 489 crore.

The ECI said the crackdown will continue to be strict and non-stop. Officials in different states have searched the vehicles of top political leaders, including the helicopter of a Congress leader in the Nilgiris on Monday.

A report by the Telangana State Chief Electoral officer said law enforcement agencies had seized Rs 126 crore in cash, gold, liquor, and freebies, till April 14. This included over Rs 50 crore in cash, gold, silver, and other valuables worth over Rs 13 crore, liquor valued at Rs 20 crore, drugs/narcotics valued at Rs 22 crore and other items and freebies worth over Rs 18 crore, the TS CEO said.

“Use of black money, over and above political financing and accurate disclosure thereof, may disturb the level playing field in favour of more resourceful parties or candidates in specific geographies. The seizures are a critical part of ECI resolve to conduct the Lok Sabha elections free of inducements and electoral malpractices and to ensure a level playing field,” ECI officials said.

In Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, the ECI suspended the flying squad team leader for laxity and selective checking of a cavalcade of a prominent leader. Officials have also checked the vehicles in the convoy of the Chief Minister of a state and the vehicle of a Deputy CM in another state.

The commission has also taken strict action against approximately 106 government servants who have been found assisting politicians in campaigning, thereby violating the Code of Conduct and instructions, the ECI said. In Telangana state, 136 officials faced action for attending an election-related meeting.

The ECI has also collaborated with the Directorate General of the Narcotics Control Bureau and its senior officials to identify key routes and corridors for drug trafficking and ensure effective countermeasures are in place. Over the past few years, significant seizures have been made during elections to State Assemblies, including during the operation of the model code of conduct in states like Gujarat, Punjab, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, and Mizoram.

Tags: 2024 lok sabha elections, model code of conduct
Location: India, Delhi