Over Rs 62cr illegal cash seized in poll-bound states; TN tops

Over Rs 62cr illegal cash seized in poll-bound states; TN tops

Over Rs 62cr illegal cash seized in poll-bound states; TN tops

With election process in the five poll-bound states reaching midway, Election Commission appointed surveillance teams have seized illegal cash of over Rs 62 crore with Tamil Nadu leading the list with the maximum seizures of Rs 24.90 crore.

While the two-phased Assembly polls voting has concluded in Assam, in West Bengal two phases have completed while four more remain.

The latest figure of cash seizures stand at about Rs 12.84 crore in West Bengal, followed by 12.33 crore in Assam. In Kerala, the seizures are about Rs 11.73 crore and the corresponding figure for Puducherry is about Rs 60.88 lakh, as per the latest EC data, updated till yesterday, said.

"The total progressive figure of seizures made till now is about Rs 62.41 crore. Some cash has been released after seizures in West Bengal and the figures have been compiled after excluding that.

"Polls in Assam are over now and figures of cash seizure in that state are expected to remain more or less the same," a senior official said.

The seizures have been made by EC-appointed special flying squads and surveillance teams and by officials drawn from the Income Tax Department.

The Model Code of Conduct for these polls came into force on March 4 after EC announced the schedule for the Assembly polls in the five states. Elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on May 16.

EC, as part of its measures to curb the use of black money in the polls, has deployed expenditure observers drawn from central revenue services like Income Tax, Customs and Excise departments and those from other central services with the assistance of state enforcement agencies.

To keep a tab on the huge cash expenditure during polls, EC has also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs and Excise department and state police units to keep a strict vigil on all sort of illegal inducements being used to disturb the level playing field.

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