Lok Sabha elections: Rs 9,000 crore seizures during polls so far, 2.5x than in 2019

NEW DELHI: In two months since the announcement of Lok Sabha poll dates, enforcement agencies have seized nearly Rs 9,000 crore worth of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals and ‘freebies’ from across the country. This amount is more than two-and-a-half times the total seizures made during the entire 2019 general election period.
With three more rounds of polling scheduled over the next two weeks, the total amount of seizures during this general elections is expected to rise.
According to Election Commission data released on Saturday, out of the total Rs 8,889 crore worth of seizures, drugs and narcotics accounted for approximately 45%, followed by ‘freebies’ at 23% and precious metals at 14%. The agencies have also seized Rs 849 crore in cash and around 5.4 crore litres of liquor worth Rs 815 crore.


Among all states and UTs, seizure in Gujarat in value terms was maximum at around Rs 1,462 crore, mainly on account of a recent joint operation by Gujarat ATS, Narcotics Control Bureau and Indian Coast Guard that led to three high-value seizures of drugs worth Rs 892 crore. Rajasthan ranks second in the list where maximum ‘freebies’ worth around Rs 757 crore were seized by enforcement agencies.
The poll panel said these elections have witnessed a series of targeted actions against the menace of drugs. Apart from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi have also reported seizures of drugs. On April 17, police busted a drug factory in Greater Noida from where 26.7kg of MDMA valued at Rs 150 crore was seized and two foreigners were arrested.
“The seizures in other cohorts have equally been impressive and surpasses the entire seizures of 2019 parliamentary elections by a big margin… Enhanced vigil against inducements, including drugs and psychotropic substances, has resulted in big seizure actions and continuous surge. Drug seizures have been maximum,” said the poll body.
According to the EC, analysis of data shows that states and UTs that used to be ‘transit zones’ are increasingly becoming ‘consumption territories’.
In terms of illegal movement of liquor, Karnataka tops the list with around 1.5 crore litres of liquor being seized, followed by Maharashtra (at approximately 62 lakh litres). In seizure of cash, Telangana leads among states and UT with Rs 114 crore, followed by Karnataka (Rs 92 crore).

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