Pre-poll seizures cross Rs. 150 crore in State

Seizures include Rs. 61.59 crore cash, liquor worth Rs. 22.45 crore, household articles worth Rs. 44.25 crore, gold and silver articles valued Rs. 26.25 crore

Bengaluru/ Mysuru: More money and liquor seem to be flowing in this election than in the past, which could be an indicator of how fiercely the elections to the Assembly are being fought across the State.

The Surveillance teams of the Election Commission have seized cash and goods besides liquor worth Rs.153.54 crore across the State in connection with the violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

The seizures included Rs. 61.59 crore in cash meant for distribution to voters. The cash also included seizures made during raids by the Investigation Wing of the Income Tax Department. In Mysuru, on Wednesday night, Rs. 2.96 lakh unaccounted cash was seized by the flying squad officers at four places.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters in Bengaluru yesterday that liquor worth Rs. 22.45 crore had been seized while goods including household articles seized were valued at Rs. 44.25 crore. This apart, gold and silver articles valued at Rs. 26.25 crore had been recovered during the searches and raids, he said. As many as 21, 654 cases have been registered.

In comparison, when the Model Code of Conduct was in place in 2013 Assembly polls and 2014 General Elections, Election Commission officials had seized Rs. 13.42 crore and Rs. 28.08 crore respectively. As for liquor, officials had seized 67,953 litres in 2013 and 44,924 in 2014. While Rs. 6.78 crore worth of freebies had been seized in 2014, no freebies were seized in 2013, as per statistics provided by the EC.

On the huge seizures being made, a senior official acknowledged that there is more flow of cash and other material in this election. “The enforcement has been strict too,” said Sanjiv Kumar, adding that barring a few districts, enforcements have been good.

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