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ECI Reports ₹1,760 Crore Contraband and Cash Seizures in 5 States Pre-Polls

The Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a statement on Monday that law enforcement agencies seized cash, liquor, and freebies worth Rs. 1,760 crore in the run-up to state elections in five states, more than seven times the value of seizures before the 2018 assembly elections.

The statement attributed the “significant and exponential increase in seizures in the five poll-going states of Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Telangana” to the ECI’s persistent efforts. It also emphasized ECI’s “unwavering commitment to ensuring free, fair, and inducement-free elections by implementing robust measures to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices for a level playing field.”

The agencies seized contraband worth Rs. 239.15 crore ahead of the 2018 elections.

Telangana, which votes on November 30, reported the highest seizures worth 659.2 crore, followed by Rajasthan (650.7 crore), which votes on November 25.

Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh have already voted, while Rajasthan and Telangana will vote on November 25 and 30, respectively, in a single phase. The model code of conduct remains in effect until the election process concludes with the announcement of the results on December 3.

With a total seizure of Rs. 323.7 crore, Madhya Pradesh came in third place. The seizure in Chattisgarh was reported to be worth Rs. 76.9 crore, and the seizure in Mizoram was reported to be worth Rs. 49.6 crore.

This time, the commission has also incorporated technology into the monitoring process via the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS), which is proving to be a catalyst by bringing together a wide range of central and state enforcement agencies for better coordination and intelligence-sharing, according to the statement.

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Source of Image: HT

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