Tamil Nadu has earned the dubious distinction of maximum seizure of black money in any assembly election so far, highlighting the corruption that rakes the country’s electoral system.
“About Rs 60 crore has already been seized,” said a senior election commission official on Wednesday, the day Tamil Nadu went to polls. “It is the highest seizure of black money for any state elections.”
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the total seizure of black money in the entire country
was just over R100 crore with maximum cases being reported from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission’s (EC) flying squad has seized a total of R29.87 crore and its surveillance team
recovered another Rs 9.24 crore. The Income Tax department, which is working closely with the EC, seized another Rs 15.06 crore. The remaining amount were small seizures made across the state.
Deputy election commissioner JP Prakash said, “it is a menace everywhere”, but no other state has reported seizure of this magnitude. In neighbouring Kerala, which also went to polls on Wednesday, only R65 lakh had been seized.
The two main political parties in Tamil Nadu — the DMK and ADMK — have accused each other of distributing freebies to voters.