Downpour of black money during polls

Downpour of black money during polls

Downpour of black money during polls

The nine phases of Lok Sabha elections spread over 36 days witnessed a downpour of black money from almost every nook and corner of the country.

Over Rs 300 crore unaccounted money, more than two crore litre liquor and nearly 2 lakh kilogram drugs were seized by the authorities from different parts of the country, poll panel officials said on Monday.

The authorities also took cognizance of more than 3000 cases of paid news, of them 694 were found to be valid till the ninth and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Monday while process were on to establish allegations against the accused in the rest of the cases, the Election Commission said.

“A total of Rs 313 crore unaccounted money, 2.25 crore litre of liquor and 1,85,000 kilogram of drugs were seized across the country during elections,” one of the Director Generals of the Election Commission P K Dash said here.

Interestingly, Rs 153 crore unaccounted money and 1.44 crore litres of liquor, almost half of the total cash and liquor confiscated, were seized in Andhra Pradesh alone. The state also recorded 2,168 cases of paid news and 116 cases were found to be valid. The process to verify the allegations against the others are on.

When it comes to the seizure of narcotic drugs, Punjab topped the list with authorities confiscating a total of 1,39,000 kilogram of the drugs, almost half of the total contraband confiscated, from the state during polls.

A total Rs 28.08 crore unaccounted money was seized in Karnataka, Rs 25.07 crore Maharashtra, Rs 25.05 crore Tamil Nadu and Rs 24.07 crore from Uttar Pradesh, Das said.

Authorities seized 11.50 lakh litre of liquor in Punjab, 8.46 lakh litre West Bengal and 7.25 lakh litre Uttar Pradesh. “Interestingly, 11.32 lakh litre of liquor were seized in Gujarat, which is a prohibition state,” Das added.

In Uttar Pradesh, 24,000 kg of narcotic drugs was seized and Rajasthan 10,000 kg.
Punjab witnessed a total of 162 cases of paid news of which 110 were found to be true. At least 240 cases of paid news was reported in Rajasthan and 172 were found to be valid. In  Karnataka, 32 cases of paid news were reported out of which 23 were found to be true.

“The process to verify the allegations against the candidates in the rest of the cases are on,” another director general of EC Akshay Rout told reporters.

As many as 75,306 FIRs were lodged for violation of expenditure rules — 13,900 cases in West Bengal, 13641 in Tamil Nadu, 13, 565 in Uttar Pradesh and 11,147 in Andhra Pradesh.

The election commission had deployed 719 expenditure observers all over the country, 11,123 flying squads and 10, 435 static surveillance teams to check the use of black money.