Law enforcement agencies have confiscated cash, liquor, and freebies valued at Rs 1,760 crore in the lead-up to assembly elections in five states, surpassing the value of seizures before the 2018 assembly elections, as stated by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday.
The ECI highlighted that the seizures made since the announcement of polls on 9 October are over seven times those made during the 2018 assembly elections in the five states, according to the Hindustan Times report.
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 persistent efforts of the ECI.
It emphasised that these statistics demonstrate the 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.
Contraband worth Rs 239.15 crore was seized by agencies ahead of the 2018 elections. Telangana, set to vote on 30 November, reported the highest seizures worth Rs 659.2 crore, followed closely by Rajasthan (Rs 650.7 crore), which will vote on 25 November.
Madhya Pradesh ranked third with a total seizure of Rs 323.7 crore. The seizure in Chhattisgarh was reported at Rs 76.9 crore, and in Mizoram, it was Rs 49.6 crore.
This time, the commission has also integrated technology into the monitoring process through the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS), proving to be a catalyst by bringing together a wide array of central and state enforcement agencies for better coordination and intelligence-sharing, the statement said.
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