Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections’ seventh and concluding phase on Sunday, the Election Commission till Thursday seized cash, liquor and drugs worth Rs 2390.86 crore – a staggering double of what it confiscated in 2014 (Rs 1200.25 crore).
Unlike the last time when only cash, liquor and drugs was seized, the law enforcement agencies this time have also recovered jewellery and precious metals, along with freebies worth crore that were supposed to be distributed among the voters.
Tamil Nadu topped the list with items worth Rs 950.05 crore seized till now. Sikkim on the other hand, recorded the lowest value at Rs 29 lakh.
Top ten states where huge seizures have been confiscated by EC are Gujarat (Rs 552.62 crore), Delhi (Rs 426.1 crore), Punjab (Rs 283.4 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 228.7 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 191.38 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 165.14 crore), West Bengal (Rs 111.95 crore), Madhya Pradesh(Rs 90.72 crore) and Karnataka (Rs 88.28 crore).
The data provided by the EC also shows that 2019 Lok Sabha elections liquor was seized at a large-scale, with a total of 179.63 lakh litres of liquor, worth Rs 290.12 crore recovered. This is more than three times than what was confiscated in 2014.
The largest amount of alcohol of Rs 45.38 crore was seized from Uttar Pradesh (UP) which went on polls in all seven phases. This was followed by Karnataka with Rs 37.85 crore and Andhra Pradesh with 28.71 crore.
The other states where huge quantity of liquor has been confiscated are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. In these seven states Rs 30.94 crore, Rs 30.8 crore, Rs 20.43 crore, Rs 14.36 crore, Rs 13.92 crore, Rs 10.05 crore and Rs 9.28 crore, respectively.
In Jammu and Kashmir, where alcohol worth just Rs 2 lakh was confiscated, is last on the list.
Interestingly, liquor worth Rs 16.90 crore has also been confiscated from the dry states of Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and the union territory of
Lakshadweep. Among them, three states — Gujarat, Bihar and Nagaland — are, at present, ruled by the NDA government.
The total alcohol seized in these states this time is nearly four times of the Rs 4.44 crore worth liquor seized during the 2014 general election.
So far, the EC has seized 70356.67 kg drugs valued at Rs1266.45 crore.
Highest quantity of drugs worth Rs 524.34 crore have been recovered from Gujarat. This is followed by Delhi where narcotics worth Rs 374.67 crore have been retrieved. The north Indian state of Punjab, which is infamous for drugs, ranks third this time with narcotics worth Rs 218.39 crore seized.
Manipur, UP, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana are the other major states from where large quantity of drugs were recovered. Total drugs worth Rs 31.96 crore, Rs 26.76 crore, Rs 15.57 crore, Rs 10.12crore, Rs 9.66 crore and Rs 9.62 were seized from these states, respectively.
The EC data also shows that no drugs were seized from Odisha and two union territories— Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
Precious Metals and Freebies
Besides cash, liquor and drugs the EC has also seized precious metals like gold and silver worth Rs 985.67 crore and freebies worth Rs 57.92 crore.
Top five states where precious metals have been recovered are Tamil Nadu (Rs 709.67 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 71.79 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 71.21 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 36.52 crore) and Punjab (Rs 22.56 crore). Maximum amount Rs 22.32 crore of freebies seized marked in Andhra Pradesh.