Rs 8,889 crore including drugs seized so far during Lok Sabha polls

Rs 8,889 crore including drugs seized so far during Lok Sabha polls

The Election Commission of India (ECI) said that election-time seizures have reached Rs 8,889 crore, with drugs comprising 45 per cent of the total.

“Enhanced vigil against inducements, including drugs and psychotropic substances, has resulted in big seizure actions and a continuous surge. Drug seizures have been maximum. Regular follow-ups and reviews of districts and agencies in areas of expenditure monitoring, precise data interpretation and active participation of enforcement agencies have led to this significant spurt in seizures since March 1,” the poll body said.

The seizure of drugs, liquor, precious metals, freebies, and cash influences elections in varying degrees, some flowing directly as inducement while others through reduced levels of circulation of money.

The Commission, led by CEC Rajiv Kumar along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, held meetings with the DG, Narcotics Control Bureau, to take up analytics-based proactive action for ensuring action by dedicated Nodal Officers of NCB.

Similarly, active involvement of the DRI, Indian Coast Guard, state police and other agencies was ensured during the ongoing elections. All these measures have led to significant seizures in the two months since the announcement of the polls.

“With the increasing intensity of campaigning in the last three phases, the Commission is keeping close tabs on attempts at influencing voters through inducements and has directed the CEOs and enforcement agencies to step up the vigil. The crusade against drugs and other inducements by the Commission will continue,” it added.

The EC stated that the Gujarat ATS, NCB and Indian Coast Guard, in joint operations, have made three high-value seizures of drugs in just three days, amounting to Rs 892 crore.

“These elections have witnessed a series of targeted actions against the menace of drugs. Other states apart from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi have also shown seizures of drugs. On 17.04.2024 Noida Police busted drug factory in Greater Noida wherein 26.7 kg of MDMA drug valued at Rs. 150 Crore were seized and two persons of foreign origin were arrested. The seizures in other cohorts have equally been impressive and surpasses the entire seizures of 2019 Parliamentary Elections by a big margin. Meticulous and exhaustive planning stands at its base,” it stated.

Real-time reporting of interceptions and seizures under the Election Seizure Management System (ESMS)- an in-house app, has resulted in quick, regular and precise reviews on expenditure monitoring. In addition, 656 Expenditure observers deployed for Parliamentary Constituencies and 125 expenditure observers are also keeping a close tab on check posts, functioning of ground level teams and are actively monitoring to ensure that citizens are not put to discomfort in the process of monitoring.

A close vigil is also kept in 123 Parliamentary Constituencies which are marked as expenditure-sensitive constituencies for more focused vigil.

The process of motivating agencies and having an active interface started in full force during the last quarter of 2023. In the first two months of the calendar year, already Rs. 6760 crore worth of drugs were seized, which conveyed a message that the Commission has a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to any form of inducement that may influence the voters. (ANI)

Srinagar News

Srinagar News is one of the oldest newspaper in kashmir it was founded by Late Mehraj-ud-Din Wani Sahab in 1975.

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