The Election Commission (EC) said that it has seized unaccounted money, illicit liquor, drugs and other inducements worth a total of over Rs 3,449 crore during the seventh and last phase of the Lok Sabha elections for which polling was held on Sunday.
"The cash seizure is Rs 839.03 crore, liquor (Rs 294.41 crore), narcotics (Rs 1,270.37 crore), gold and precious metals (Rs 986.76 crore) and other freebies (Rs 58.56 crore). The total is Rs 3,449.12 crore," an EC statement said.
The poll watchdog said it appointed 72 expenditure observers in 59 parliamentary constituencies for the last phase to implement its instructions regarding election expenditure of candidates and for the seizure of unaccounted money, illicit liquor, drugs and other inducements.
To curb the abuse of money power during elections, the Commission had decided that each expenditure-sensitive constituency would have two expenditure observers. The states with geographically difficult terrain were allotted a slightly larger number of expenditure observers to have better visibility and accessibility.
As per the instructions of the EC, the states deployed adequate resources in terms of flying squads, static surveillance teams (SSTs) and video surveillance teams (VSTs) in all the parliamentary constituencies, the statement said.
The number of expenditure observers was 72, assistant expenditure observers (474), flying squads (1960), SSTs (1844), VSTs (1040), video viewing team (582) and accounting team (540).
Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats -- 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.
As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 per cent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.
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