KOCHI: The Election Commission has seized Rs 28.79 crore worth cash, drugs, alcohol and precious metals in Kerala, ahead of the polls. The haul in the state, however, is mere 1.16 per cent of the total seizure of Rs 2.464.19 crore from across the country.
B Surendran Pillai, additional secretary and additional chief electoral officer, Kerala, told Express the total cash seized as on Friday stood at Rs 5,89,53,196 while the seizure of drugs and narcotics was valued at Rs 19,63,84,443 and the seizure of gold and silver was valued at Rs 3,10,57,330.
The figures released by the Election Commission showed seizure of drugs/narcotics topping the chart across the country at Rs 1,097.47 crore, followed by Rs 628.535 crore in cash, precious metals at Rs 490.385 crore and liquor worth Rs 204.48 crore.
Officials explained Kerala is a “expenditure sensitive” state when it comes to cash and freebies offered to voters, compared to Tamil Nadu and AP, which are notorious for free flow of cash and liquor. As on Friday, Gujarat saw total seizures worth Rs 515.94 crore while Tamil Nadu was a close second with seizures worth Rs 475.95 crore.
Other states that saw big seizures were NCT of Delhi (Rs 389.01 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 216.16 crore), Punjab (Rs 194.26 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 161.49 crore) and Maharashtra (Rs 107.96 crore).
Among the cash seizures, however, TN topped the chart at Rs 181.08 crore, followed by Andhra Pradesh (Rs 137.07 crore), Telangana (Rs 60.55 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 38.34 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 35.17 crore) and NCT Delhi (Rs 32.36 crore). Gujarat, which topped in the overall chart, saw cash seizures only to the tune of Rs 5.4 crore, lower than even Kerala.