It's raining cash in Andhra Pradesh as the politicians in the southern state have broken all previous records of using money power to bribe the voters.
Police have seized nearly Rs.38 crore unaccounted money in different instances during the ongoing search operations across the state since the Election Commission announced the schedule for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and the state assembly.
During last 10 days, police seized Rs.38 crore in various parts of the state. According to state's chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal, Rs.36 crore was seized during the entire campaign period in 2009. "This shows money is playing a key role in the elections in Andhra Pradesh," he said.
In addition to the cash, police have also seized about 20 kg gold and 121 kg silver. People carrying the cash and valuables failed to produce proper receipts or other documents. Police and income tax authorities are probing these cases of unaccounted money.
More than 6,550 litres of liquor was also seized by the authorities in various parts of the state.
Bhanwarlal said 900 checkposts were set up to search the vehicles while 1,142 flying teams were constituted to check the flow of money and other items to bribe the voters.
The CEO appealed to people not to accept money, liquor or other articles for casting the vote as both offering and accepting the same for vote is a punishable offence.
The Election Commission had already flagged Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for having the highest incidence of money playing a key role in the elections.
Officials say the cash seizure this time is more because a series of elections are scheduled in Andhra Pradesh. The elections to urban and rural local bodies are also slated on March 30 and April 6 respectively.
Simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assembly are scheduled in two phases on April 30 and May 7.