Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Election Commission makes “record seizure” of cash, liquor, drugs in poll bound HP, Gujarat

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India on Friday said it has made a “record seizure” of cash, liquor, drugs and other items in the poll-bound states of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

In a statement, the poll body said the seizure in Gujarat amounted to Rs 71.88 crores while seizures in Himachal Pradesh amounted to Rs 50.28 crores.

Himachal Pradesh will undergo polling on November 12, while Gujarat will vote in two phases on December 1 and December 5. The results for both the states will be declared on December 8.

The ECI in its statement called the seizure drive in Gujarat “encouraging” as Gujarat witnessed seizures of Rs 71.88 crores in just a few days of the announcement of the elections which surpasses even the seizures made in the entire duration of enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct in Assembly Elections, 2017 which was Rs 27.21 crores.

The poll body said that the seizures in Gujarat included toys and accessories worth Rs 64 crore worth that was being smuggled at Mundra Port in Kutch.

“Two persons including the mastermind have been arrested in the case and further investigation is under progress,” the commission said in a release.

Apart from this, the poll body said, Rs 66 lakhs in cash, liquor worth Rs 3.86 crore, drugs worth Rs 94 lakh, precious metals worth Rs 1.86 crore and freebies,64.56 crore were seized in Gujarat.

The seizures in Himachal Pradesh are also significant amounting to Rs 50.28 crores as compared to Rs 9.03 crores during Himachal’s last election in 2017, marking a more than five-fold increase.

The total seizures in the hill state included Rs 17.18 crore in cash, liquor worth Rs 17.50 crore, drugs worth Rs 1.20 crore, precious metals worth Rs 13.99 and Rs 41 lakh worth of freebies.

The commission has urged citizens to become vigilant and extensively use the cVigil App to curb the menace of money power in elections.

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