(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) As the electoral fervor heightens in the five poll-bound states, the Election Commission revealed a staggering seizure of over Rs 1,760 crore worth of inducements, including freebies, drugs, cash, liquor, and precious metals aimed at influencing voters. This significant haul, amassed since the announcement of polls on October 9, marks an unprecedented increase, surmounting the total seizures from the preceding assembly elections in 2018 by more than sevenfold, amounting to Rs 239.15 crore.
The Election Commission, in a statement on Monday, highlighted the substantial surge in seizures, emphasizing, "Seizures over Rs 1,760 crores have been reported in the five poll-going states since the announcement of the elections, which is more than 7 times (Rs 239.15 cr) the seizures made in previous Assembly Elections in these States in 2018."
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With three states already concluding their assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram, the electoral battle continues in Rajasthan and Telangana scheduled for November 25 and November 30, respectively.
Telangana, set for polling on November 30, reported the highest cash seizure, surpassing Rs 659.2 crore, followed closely by Rajasthan with a seizure of Rs 650.7 crore. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh reported Rs 323.7 crore, Chhattisgarh Rs 76.9 crore, and Mizoram Rs 49.6 crore in confiscated inducements, according to data shared by the poll body.
This surge in seizures underscores growing concerns over electoral malpractices, with recent elections in six other states witnessing seizures exceeding Rs 1,400 crore, marking an alarming 11-fold increase compared to previous assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Karnataka. These cumulative figures underscore the pressing need for stringent measures to curb the influence of illicit inducements and maintain the sanctity of the electoral process.
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