Over Rs 83 crore cash, 7 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 12.65 crore and narcotics valued at Rs 10.30 crore have been seized, maximum from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, by EC-appointed surveillance and expenditure monitoring teams in the five poll-bound states.
As per official data compiled since the announcement of polls early this year till Saturday, UP has witnessed the maximum seizure of Rs 79.13 crore (Rs 31.65 lakh in old notes) followed by Rs 4.05 crore from Punjab, Rs 33.27 lakh in Uttarakhand and Rs 6.95 lakh in Manipur.
In other illegal inducements suspected to be used to lure voters in these states, a whopping 7.36 lakh litres of liquor and over 500 bottles of canned beer worth Rs 12.65 crore has been seized by Election Commission appointed police and state excise teams in these states.
In UP, these seizures were recorded at 3.95 lakh litres worth Rs 10.7 crore followed by 3,09,351 litres spirits worth Rs 1.14 crore seized in Punjab, over 25,907 litres worth Rs 72.91 lakh in Uttarakhand, 4,605 litres worth Rs 7.5 lakh in Manipur and beer and other hard spirits worth Rs 1.35 lakh in Goa.
Drug seizures by the anti-narcotics agencies and police teams was seen maximum in Punjab as the total haul was recorded at 1,485 kg valued at Rs 10.30 crore, with Punjab accounting for 1,134 kgs worth Rs 9.06 crore followed by Rs 286.65 kg worth Rs 83.58 lakh seized in UP, Rs 17.22 lakh in Goa, Rs 15.36 lakh in Uttarakhand and Rs 7.62 lakh in Manipur.
Officials said a total of “Rs 83.58 crore in cash, about 7.36 lakh litres of liquor along with 525 bottles of beer worth Rs 12.65 crore and an estimated Rs 10.30 crore worth narcotics have been seized in the five poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur, till data recorded upto January 18.”
The EC has appointed about 200 election expenditure observers apart from other central observers to keep a check on black money and illegal inducements used to bribe voters at the hustings in these states.
The assembly elections in these five states will be held between February 4 and March 8. Counting of votes for all states will take place on March 11.