This election season, the seizure of unaccounted cash, liquor, drugs and precious metals by law enforcement authorities has already crossed Rs 3,166 crore as of April 25, according to the latest report of the Election Commission of India (EC). This is over twice the total seizure value of Rs 1,200 crore during the 2014 general elections, even as four more phases of elections are yet to go for polls.
Considering the increase in the value of seizure on daily basis, from Rs 562 crore on March 26 to Rs 3,166 crore on April 25, and the last phase polling slated on May 19, the flow of cash, drugs and other prohibited substances are expected to skyrocket by the end of elections.
While these figures point out the unscrupulous ways of political parties and candidates in luring voters, it also reflects the massive flow of black wealth, countering the rhetoric of the present regime led by the Bharatiya Janata Party which boasts to have curbed the black money.
The Model Code of Conduct came into force across India on March 10, the day the EC announced the schedule for the 2019 general elections. Since then, special task forces of the EC and state police authorities have been conducting seizures aiming to curb bribes to voters.
Of the total Rs 3,166 crore seized, cash amounted to Rs 750 crore, liquor worth Rs 240 crore, drugs worth Rs 1,183 and precious metal seized amounted to Rs 944 crore.
Among the states, the seized value was highest in Tamil Nadu, with over Rs 935 crore worth cash and other prohibited substances seized from the state, where polling happened in a single phase on April 19. It is followed by Gujarat (Rs 545 crore), the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Rs 395 crore), Punjab (Rs 235 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 219 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 177 crore) and Maharashtra (Rs 130 crore).
Total Seizure During 2019 General Elections as of April 25
Source: Election Commission of India
Gujarat recorded highest seizure of drugs or narcotics worth Rs 524 crore, followed by the NCT of Delhi with drugs valued at Rs 352 crore being seized. In Tamil Nadu, precious metals seized was over 3063 kg worth Rs 708 crore, highest in the country.
States where polling is scheduled in the upcoming phases are Bihar, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
So far, the Election Commission has reported about 445 incidents of violations of Model Code of Conduct across the country.
Read More: Elections 2019: ECI’s Code of Conduct Tested by a Trail of Violations