Bengaluru: If the cash and the freebies seized by the Election Commission (EC) officials are any indication, it seems more money and liquor to be flowing in this election than in the past. The Election Commission officials have seized cash and freebies worth Rs 136 crore till Monday.
Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said the cash component seized after the model code of conduct came into force on March 27 alone was Rs. 55.16 crore, while 4.8 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs. 22.15 crore has been seized.
Of the total Rs. 39.11 crore freebies seized, precious metals, including gold jewellery amounted to Rs. 21.42 crore as over 50 kg of gold or gold jewellery has been seized.
Besides the election machinery, the Income Tax Department has seized Rs. 19.42 crore cash in the same period.
In fact, Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, during his last visit to the State, had said that cash, liquor and freebies being distributed in the State were a matter of concern for the commission.
In comparison, when the model code of conduct was in place in 2013 Assembly polls and 2014 general elections, EC officials had seized Rs. 13.42 crore and Rs. 28.08 crore respectively. As for liquor, officials had seized 67,953 litres in 2013 and 44,924 in 2014. While Rs. 6.78 crore worth of freebies had been seized in 2014, no freebies were seized in 2013, as per statistics provided by the EC.
On the huge seizures being made, a senior official acknowledged that there is more flow of cash and other material in this election. “The enforcement has been strict too,” said Sanjiv Kumar.