The Election Commission of India on Wednesday said there had been “massive” seizures of drugs, liquor, cash, precious metals and other freebies in Gujarat during the campaign period, with the state Anti-Terrorism Squad intercepting drugs worth Rs.478 crore in an ongoing operation.
The EC said officers of the ATS had seized 143kg of mephedrone, a synthetic drug, worth about Rs.478 crore from manufacturing units in Vadodara (Rural) and Vadodara City.
“They have detained five persons from Nadiad and Vadodara and a criminal case is being registered in ATS Police Station, Ahmedabad under relevant sections of the NDPS Act, 1985. The operation is in progress and complete details will be made available once the operation is completed,” an EC statement said.
Including the latest seizure, the authorities have made seizures of Rs.768.94 crore, of which drugs account for Rs.539.96 crore. A total of Rs.27.07 crore in cash, 4.11 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs.14.88 crore, precious metals worth Rs.15.79 crore and “freebies” worth Rs.171.24 crore had been seized till Tuesday, the EC said.
With campaigning for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls still on, the authorities have already made seizures of 28 times more than that in the 2017 polls.
“The total seizures in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly Election were Rs 27.21 crores. Going by seizure chart as on 29.11.2022 which marks total seizures of Rs 290.24 crore, there is a massive jump in the amount of seizures which is 10.66 times of seizures in 2017. Add to it, the ongoing seizure of drugs, it becomes whopping 28 times. Behind the stupendous rise in seizure figures has been the comprehensive strategy, detailed planning and rigorous follow-ups by the Election Commission,” the EC said.