Election Commission of India (ECI) officials have reported the seizure of Rs 1,760 crore in five poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana, a PTI report has said. The said amount has been seized since the announcement of elections in these states, which was done on October 9, 2023.
The ECI issued a statement on Monday, November 20, and said, "Seizures over Rs 1,760 crores have been reported in the five poll-going states since the announcement of the elections, which is more than 7 times (Rs 239.15 cr) the seizures made in previous Assembly Elections in these States in 2018."
The highest cash seizure, at Rs 659.2 crore, was reported from Telangana. The polls in the state are scheduled for November 30. This was followed by Rajasthan with a seizure of Rs 650.7 crore, Madhya Pradesh at Rs 323.7 crore, Chhattisgarh at Rs 76.9 crore, and Mizoram at Rs 49.6 crore, according to the statement issued by the ECI, the PTI report said.
There has been a rise of 636 per cent in the amount seized when compared with the 2018 Assembly elections in the five states, the ECI statement said. Detailing the seizures, the Commission said that EC action included the seizure of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals, whose market value stood in crores, and freebies, among other items.
Elaborating on the steps taken by the ECI to keep track of any illegal activities that may affect the elections in the states, the EC said, "This time the Commission has also embedded technology into the monitoring process through the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS) which is proving to be a catalyst, as it brought a wide array of Central and State enforcement agencies together for better coordination and intelligence sharing."
(With agency inputs)