Highlighting that Indian voters were still being influenced by appeasements of money and liquor, the Election Commission (EC) has stated that it has so far seized ₹283 crore in cash and 2.13 crore litres of liquor on the eve of ongoing general and assembly elections in the country, among which Andhra Pradesh's share tops the seizures.
In AP alone, the EC has recovered ₹131 crore in cash and one crore litres of liquor till 2 May, a PTI report said, quoting EC authorities.
According to the EC, it has appointed three flying squads in each district to oversee the flow of black money and other gifts to voters by candidates in the fray. Each flying squad comprises of an executive magistrate, five police constables and a videographer.
Between 2 May and 5 May, the squads have seized ₹5.29 crore cash and fake currency with a face value of ₹3,87,500. During the four days, the EC has seized 47,282 bottles of liquor as well, the EC authorities revealed.
Not just cash and liquor, other articles like jewelry and clothes are also being distributed by the candidates to voters to get their votes. Two lorries, loaded with ₹4 lakh worth sarees, have been seized by the squads in Andhra Pradesh during their patrolling. Cash was also seized from midnight service buses in Hyderabad in April.
It is reported that the EC officials have seized cash from door panels of cars and their bonnets. Andhra Pradesh is witnessing fierce battle in this simultaneous general and assembly elections.
After AP, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra occupy the EC's data list for the distribution of cash and liquor during this poll season.
The EC is striving to curb use of black money and illegal funds by candidates in this election. The patrolling squads, constituted by the EC, consists personnel from Central revenue service departments like Income Tax, Customs and Excise, besides the policemen drawn from the states.