NEW DELHI: Black money has always been a big issue in the elections, but the recovery of huge amount of cash mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab has raised many eyebrows about the fairness in the upcoming Assembly polls.
So far more than Rs 30 crore cash has been recovered from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. On an average every day Rs 2 crore of cash is being recovered from these poll bound states.
In Uttar Pradesh, more than Rs 10 crore has been recovered so far, over Rs 2 crore from Lakhimpur Kheri alone. Rs 12 lakh has been recovered from Greater Noida. Mathura saw a cash haul of Rs 10 lakh while Rs 4 lakh was recovered from Kanpur.
It's the same story in Punjab, nearly Rs 17 crore has been recovered over the last 14 days. But it's not just cash, what's shocking is that huge quantities of drugs and liquor have also been recovered. The Punjab Police have confiscated two tonnes of poppy husk and over six kg of heroin.
"In a state where the election expense ceiling has been enhanced to Rs 16 lakh per candidate, but on paper average expenses are shown as Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, it is evident that money is making its way through the state via unaccounted channels. The Election Commission's move aimed at choking this illegal cash flow has made it an uphill task for political parties trying to bribe voters," Joint chief election officer in Punjab Gurkirat Kirpal Singh said.
According to intelligence reports, more than Rs 10,000 crore of black money is likely to be pumped into Uttar Pradesh alone. Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi has himself admitted that checking the money flow in UP, Punjab and Goa is going to be an uphill task.
- Shreya Dhoundial, Jyoti Kamal