Election Commission seizes record ₹4,650 crore ahead of Lok Sabha polls, surpasses 2019 figures | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Election Commission seizes record 4,650 crore ahead of Lok Sabha polls, surpasses 2019 figures

Apr 15, 2024 04:09 PM IST

Among states, Rajasthan led the list with seizure of approximately ₹778 crore, followed by Gujarat with ₹605 crore, and Maharashtra with about ₹431 crore.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Monday that it is on track to record the “highest ever seizures of inducements” in the history of Lok Sabha elections.

According to the poll body, the seizures are a crucial aspect of the ECI's determination to conduct Lok Sabha elections free from inducements and electoral malpractices, ensuring a fair electoral process. (Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)
According to the poll body, the seizures are a crucial aspect of the ECI's determination to conduct Lok Sabha elections free from inducements and electoral malpractices, ensuring a fair electoral process. (Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)

Even before the first phase of polling began, enforcement agencies had already made a record seizure of 4,650 crore, marking “a significant increase over the 3,475 crores seized during the entire Lok Sabha election in 2019,” as stated in the release from the poll body.

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“The enhanced seizures reflect ECI’s unwavering commitment to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices for a ‘level playing field’, particularly in favour of smaller and less resourceful parties,” the Election Commission said.

“Significantly, 45% of the seizures are of drugs and narcotics, that are under the special focus of the Commission. The seizures have been possible by comprehensive planning, scaled up collaboration and unified deterrence action from agencies, proactive citizen participation and optimal engagement of technology,” the poll body added.

The commission also released data on different states, detailing the distribution of seized inducements. Rajasthan led the list with a seizure of approximately 778 crore, followed by Gujarat with 605 crore, and Maharashtra with about 431 crore.

Also Read | Election Commission notice to Congress's Randeep Surjewala over ‘indecent’ remark against Hema Malini

CEC Rajiv Kumar underlines ‘Money Power’ as ‘4M’ challenges

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, while announcing the polls last month, emphasised “Money Power” as one of the '4M' challenges, including "money, muscle, misinformation, and Model Code of Conduct violations".

The commission's Monday statement read, “Use of black money, over and above political financing and accurate disclosure thereof, may disturb the level playing field in favour of a more resourceful party or candidate in specific geographies.”

According to the poll body, the seizures are a crucial aspect of the ECI's determination to conduct Lok Sabha elections free from inducements and electoral malpractices, ensuring a fair electoral process.

On April 12, the poll panel comprising CEC Rajiv Kumar along with election commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, assessed all Central Observers deployed in Phase -1 of the elections scheduled for April 19. Discussions focused on tightening, monitoring, and checking to guarantee an inducement-free electoral process.

The increased seizures demonstrate the ECI's steadfast commitment to monitoring inducements and curbing electoral malpractices to maintain a 'level playing field', particularly benefiting smaller and less resourceful parties, the poll body's statement said.

(With inputs from PIB)

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