The Election Commission (EC) officials on Saturday, November 16, seized Rs 95 lakh in cash, liquor and sarees from 15 Assembly constituencies of Karnataka, for violation of the model code of conduct (MCC).
The officials seized 66 litres of alcohol valued at Rs 83,000 and 30,000 sarees from the constituencies, including five in Bengaluru, which are going to polls on December 5. The EC has deployed 248 flying squads, 479 surveillance teams and MCC teams to enforce the poll code in all the 15 Assembly segments.
"Our flying squads and surveillance teams with the help of the local police have seized Rs 95 lakh in cash, 66 litres of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL), 30,000 sarees and other materials from political parties, their candidates and agents since November 11 when the poll code was reinforced ahead of the by-polls," the official said in a statement.
The sarees were seized from a godown at Hootagalli Industrial Area in Mysuru by the District Electoral Officer (DEO) after receiving a tip-off. It was covered in 425 sacks along with BJP handbills showing former BJP MLA CP Yogeshwar and were meant to be distributed among the women voters. Yogeshwar was supposed to contest from Hunsur but the BJP fielded AH Vishwanath, who was recently inducted to the saffron party after he left JD(S).
Congress slams BJP
Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah slammed BJP after the seizure and said that it has exposed BJP's plan to bribe voters. Congress also wrote to the poll panel demanding appropriate action against Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for his alleged violation of the model code of conduct.
In the letter to the EC, Congress claimed that the present BJP government is threatening EC officials and disrupting them from doing their job. "It is a very serious concern about free and fair elections in Karnataka. Please take more interest and strict action in conducting by-elections in Karnataka," read the letter.
According to the reports, in the past six days, EC officials have registered 29 FIRs against poll code violators. Over 160 people have been detained under the preventive sections of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code), 882 arms were deposited, 37 non-bailable warrants were executed and 255 cases were booked.