A whopping Rs 124.95 crore in cash, 23.77 lakh litres of liquor and 3,655 kgs of drugs were seized by the EC-appointed surveillance squads during two-month-long polls process in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur. UP led the tally with seizure of Rs 119.40 crore in cash, 22.14 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 63.52 crore, and 3,210 kg of drugs with an estimated prize of Rs 8.66 crore, an official data compiled for the entire poll process period said.
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Elections to these states were declared on January 4 and the campaigning for the last phase of polls in UP and Manipur ended on Monday. Polling in the two states will be held on March 8.
Voting for one seat each in UP and Uttarakhand had been postponed to March 9 following the death of candidates during the poll process.
The data, compiled after including all the seizures made by the police and other surveillance teams, state that over Rs 124.95 crore of “suspect” cash, 23.77 lakh litres of illicit liquor worth Rs 67.36 crore and 3,655 kg of drugs with an estimated price of Rs 12.24 crore were seized from these states till the close of campaigning today.
“Suspect” gold and silver worth Rs 25.61 crore were also seized by these teams along with special Election Commission-appointed flying squads from these states, with almost the entire recovery being reported from UP.
“These seizures have been one of the highest recorded by EC teams in any of the Assembly polls in the country. They are surely much higher than the polls of 2012 in these states,” a senior official, supervising anti-black money operations at the hustings, said.
UP, with 403 seats in the Assembly, was followed by Uttarakhand, which has 70 Assembly constituencies, in terms of volume and value of seizures of money, liquor and drugs, which were suspected to be distributed to lure voters.
Uttarakhand accounted for seizure of Rs 3.40 crore suspect cash, 1.02 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 3.11 crore and 84.11 kg of narcotics estimated to be worth Rs 40.08 lakh.
Manipur saw seizure of Rs 2.15 crore cash (including Rs 4.50 lakh in old notes), 61,477 litres of liquor worth Rs 72.75 lakh and drugs worth Rs 3.18 crore, the data said.
Counting of votes in these states as also in Punjab and Goa is scheduled for March 11.