It’s not hard cash or liquor that is being used for luring voters in Goa but high-end electronic gadgets and two-wheelers , if recent seizures are any indication. Election Commission (EC) officials who are keeping a close tab on such activities believe this is a new trend.
“We have always noticed candidates giving liquor, drugs or cash to woo voters. But this term due to the strict monitoring in casinos and bars accompanied with the strict check on alcohol we are witnessing this new trend. Obviously a smart phone will attract the voter more than a bottle of beer,” said a senior official in the EC on condition of anonymity.
The commercial taxes department has reported seizures of more than Rs 50 lakh worth of mobile phones, LED TVs and air coolers among other things from several places in the state.
Most of the items recovered during the multiple raids carried out in last three days had no invoice and were paid for by a third party.
While in one raid carried out on Friday afternoon, mobile phones worth Rs 10 lakh were seized from a dealer in Panaji, around 35 TVS Jupiter scooters and 40 Hero motorcycles were seized at Molem and Patradevi check posts.
“Through experience and trend in other parts of the country it has been observed that most of the goods which are seized during this period are usually used by political parties to woo voters. It is for this reason that purchases are done without any proper invoice or direct link with the party paying for the items. Tax evasion is also done by these parties” said additional commissioner of commercial taxes Rajan Satardekar.
The EC has stated that no cash has been seized so far in Goa since the model code of conduct came into effect on January 4.
Police and state excise department has also seized liquor worth Rs 40 lakh along with drugs including LSD, cannabis and MDMA worth over Rs 15 lakh, stated a release by the Election Commission on January 28.