LS polls: Election Commission makes seizures worth Rs 8,889 crore; drugs contribute 45%

The Election Commission of India (ECI) also revealed that over 4.24 lakh complaints were received from citizens on the cVigil app in the last two months.
LS polls: Election Commission makes seizures worth Rs 8,889 crore; drugs contribute 45%

NEW DELHI: The poll panel on Saturday said that the election-time seizures of inducements reached to Rs 8,889 crore that aimed to influence voters, as confiscation of narcotics and other contrabands amounted to 45 percent of the total seizure.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) also revealed that over 4.24 lakh complaints were received from citizens on cVigil app in the last two months and 99.9 per cent of them have been disposed of.

At 45 per cent, drugs and other contrabands constituted the largest among the total seizures, as narcotics worth around Rs 3,959 crore were seized, the ECI said.

Drugs, liquor, precious metals, freebies and cash influence elections in varying degrees, some flowing directly as inducements while others through reduced levels of circulation of money, the Commission said in an official statement.

The poll panel has laid special emphasis on the seizure of narcotics and psychotropic substances, the Commission noted, while adding that an analysis of data found that states and Union Territories (UTs) that used to be transit zones are increasingly becoming consumption territories of drugs.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad, Narcotics Control Bureau and the Indian Coast Guard in joint operations have made three high-value seizures of drugs in just three days, amounting to Rs 892 crore, the poll panel noted.

Rs 849.15 crore in cash, Rs 814.85 crore worth of liquor, drugs worth Rs 3,958.85 crore and precious metals worth Rs 1,260.33 crore have been seized, it added.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, while noting that in the Lok Sabha elections the cVigil app has emerged as a highly effective tool in the hands of people to flag MCC violations, the ECI said, “Since the announcement of polls, over 4.24 lakh complaints have been received through the App as on May 15, 2024. Out of these 4,23,908 complaints have been disposed of and the remaining 409 cases are under process. Nearly 89% complaints were resolved within a 100 minute timeline, a promise made by the ECI.”

It said, “Citizens have used the App for checking electoral malpractices in use of loudspeakers beyond prescribed time or noise levels, campaigning during ban period, placing banners or posters without permission, deployment of vehicles beyond permitted limit, property defacement and display of firearms.”

Box1: Item wise seizures

Drugs: Rs 3,958.85 Crore

Cash: Rs 849.15 Crore

Liquor: Rs 814.85 Crore

Precious Metal: Rs 1,260.33 Crore

Freebies: Rs 2,006.56 Crore

Box 2: Top five states, where high quantum of seizures made:

Gujarat: Rs 1,461.73 Crore

Rajasthan: Rs 1,133.82 Crore

Punjab: Rs 734.54 Crore

Maharashtra: Rs 685.81Crore

NCT of Delhi: Rs 653.31 Crore

Box 3: Category-wise complaints via cVigil App

Religious or communal speeches: 2,883

Distribution of cash, liquor & freebies: 7,022

Display of firearms/intimidation: 2,430

Posters/Banners without permission: 3,24,228

Property defacement: 14,022

Campaigning during ban period: 4,742

Vehicle/convoy without permission: 2,697

Others: 66,293

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