EC halts 'money machine' during elections

The poll panel, acting on specific tip-off during elections, seized over Rs 74 crore from poll-bound Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

While no unaccounted money trail was detected in Puducherry, Rs 8.35 crore was seized by the Election Commission in West Bengal, Rs 5.2 crore in Assam and Rs 64 lakh in Kerala. The EC seized a total of Rs 60.1 crore unaccounted cash from Tamil Nadu alone.

“Seizure of huge amounts of money indicated that probably more cash was being used in TN,” Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi told Deccan Herald.

To check the use of money power in elections, he said, the commission had developed a “uniform machinery” for entire the country which was promptly followed by all the four states and the union territory.

The CEC said: “Every crore that was seized prevented (circulation of) at least 50 crores. We choked the money supply and it worked substantially, but some money was still percolating. There is a limit to what we can do.”

 Quraishi pointed out that the polls also saw a record high in voter turnout with no incident of violence.

Tamil Nadu witnessed a growth of 11.36 per cent in turnout compared to previous polls, Kerala 3.79, West Bengal 3.04, Assam 0.36 and Puducherry 0.13.

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