With the assembly elections progressing in various states, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has strengthened its monitoring system to ensure fair elections. On Monday ECI said over Rs 1,760 crore worth contrabands including drugs, cash and precious metals aimed at inducing voters were seized from the five poll-going states.
ECI said the seizures were made since the polls were announced on October 9. In 2018, around Rs 239.15 crore seizures were recorded by ECI.
The voting is set to take place in Rajasthan and Telangana on November 25 and 30 respectively. While, assembly polls has been already held in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
Seizures worth over Rs 1,400 crore were made in the past six state assembly elections held in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Karnataka, which was 11 times the seizures made in previous assembly elections in these states, read the EC statement.
The monitoring process have been strengthened by the ECI this time by enabling the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS). Central and state agencies were roped in by the Commission to keep in check the situation and for better coordination.
Though no cash or precious metal was seized in Mizoram, drugs worth Rs 29.82 crore were recovered by the authorities.
The poll panel has deployed 228 officers from various services as expenditure observers. For close monitoring, 194 assembly constituencies were marked as "expenditure sensitive" seats.