Freebies, drugs, cash, liquor and precious metals worth over 1,760 crore have been seized by authorities so far in the five poll-bound states, the Election Commission (EC) said on Monday, adding that the recoveries were a seven-fold increase in comparison to the 2018 assembly elections.

Read here: Seized contraband, cash worth 1,760 crore in 5 states ahead of polls: ECI

While voting in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh is over, elections in Rajasthan and Telangana are scheduled to be held in a single phase on November 25 and 30, respectively. To be sure, the seizures are likely to rise as the model code of conduct is enforced till December 3, when the results for all the five states are scheduled to be announced.

Freebies refer to a range of poll sops offered by various parties to the electorate.

“Seizures over 1,760 crore have been reported in the five poll-going states since the announcement of the elections, which is more than seven times ( 239.15 crore) the seizures made in previous assembly elections in these states in 2018,” the poll body said in a statement.

According to EC, Telangana reported the highest seizure of 659.2 crore, followed by Rajasthan which reported a seizure of 650.7 crore. While Madhya Pradesh recorded an overall seizure of 323.7 crore, Chattisgarh reported 76.9 crore and Mizoram 49.65 crore.

Rajasthan topped the list for the highest number of freebies, EC said, amounting to 341.24 crore, to lure voters, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 120.53 crore. Overall, authorities seized drugs worth 103.74 crore, cash worth 225.23 crore, liquor worth 86.82 crore, precious metals worth 191.02 crore and freebies worth 52.41 crore in Telangana, the EC statement said. Similarly, authorities seized drugs worth 91.71 crore, cash worth 93.17 crore, liquor worth 51.29 crore, precious metals worth 73.36 crores, and freebies worth 341.24 crore in Rajasthan.

In Madhya Pradesh, the seized quantity of drugs was worth 15.53 crore, cash worth 33.72 crore, liquor worth 69.85 crore, precious metals worth 84.1 crore, and freebies worth 120.53 crore.

In Chhattisgarh, the seized quantity of drugs was 4.55 crore, cash was 20.77 crore, liquor 2.16 crore, precious metals 22.76 crore, and freebies 26.68 crore, as per the statement. In Mizoram, however, no cash or precious metals were found or seized by authorities. Drugs ( 29.82), freebies ( 15.16), and liquor ( 4.67) worth 49.65 crores were recovered, the poll body said.

Read here: MP election: Cash, drugs, jewellery worth 340 cr seized during model code of conduct period

The seizures in the five states demonstrates the poll body’s “unwavering commitment to ensuring free, fair and inducement-free elections”, EC said.

The poll body also said that seizures of over 1,400 crore were made in the past six state assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Karnataka, which is 11 times the previous assembly elections in these states. “Enforcement Agencies stepped up their vigil in their respective domains and by the time the elections were announced, taken together, they had already reported seizures of 576.2 crore,” EC said.

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2023-11-20T19:51:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd