As part of the Election Commission's expenditure monitoring process ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, the enforcement agencies have seized nearly Rs 311 crore. Till March 16, the seizures of cash, liquor, drugs, freebies and precious metals have reached Rs 331 crore against Rs 226 crore seized in 2016.
According to reports, cash amounting to Rs 89.48 crore, liquor worth Rs 28.93 crore, drugs worth Rs 75.67 crore, freebies worth Rs 48.52 crore and precious metals worth Rs 88.87 crore were unearthed by the agencies from the five poll-bound states.
Tamil Nadu has the highest total cumulative seizures at Rs 127.64 crore, while West Bengal had Rs 112.59 crore. Assam witnessed seizures of Rs 63.75 crore, Kerala at Rs 21.77 crore and Puducherry at Rs 5.72 crore.
It is interesting to note that the seizures have already surpassed the total cumulative seizures of Rs 225.77 crore made during the Assembly Elections to these State/Union Territory in 2016.
The Election Commission had appointed 295 Expenditure Observers aiming to curb the black money in General Election to Legislative Assemblies of these five poll-bound states. The poll body has deployed officers which includes Madhu Mahajan and BR Balakrishnan, both for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, B Murali Kumar and Neena Nigam for Assam, while its Pushpinder Singh Puniha for Kerala.