During the recent Karnataka Assembly elections, more than Rs 87 crore in cash was seized by government authorities for violation of law, according to a statement issued by the chief electoral officer of Karnataka on 11 May, 2018.
Cash seized from Karnataka since the Assembly election schedule was announced on 27 March till 11 May has been over six times the Rs 14 crore seized during the 2013 Assembly election, and three times more than the Rs 28 crore seized from Karnataka during the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Elections that took place on 12 May saw a 72.13 percent voter turnout, the highest ever in the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party after winning 104 out of 222 seats, followed by the Congress with 78 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) with 37 seats.
Incidents of malpractice were prominent. Nearly 10,000 voter identity cards were found in a flat in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar on 9 May, 2018, just three days before polling. Election in this constituency was then deferred to 28 May, 2018.
Government agencies, including the Election Commission's flying squads and static surveillance teams, Income Tax authorities and the police, also reported distribution of cash, jewelry, liquor, precious metals, drugs/narcotics, etc. to lure voters. Liquor worth Rs 24 crore, precious metals such as gold and silver worth Rs 110 crore, drugs/narcotics worth Rs 39 lakh and other materials such as laptops and household goods were also seized from across Karnataka.
Karnataka no exception
Nearly Rs 185 crore in cash was confiscated across five states — Punjab (Rs 58 crore), Goa (Rs 2.2 crore), Uttarakhand (Rs 3.4 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 119 crore) and Manipur (Rs 2.2 crore) — in 2017, during the respective state legislative Assembly elections, PP Chaudhary, minister of state for law and justice, told the Lok Sabha in a reply on 22 March, 2017.
Liquor worth Rs 83 crore was seized across the five states, while drugs/narcotics worth Rs 32 crore were seized, with Punjab accounting for 57 percent of all drugs/narcotics seized.
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country with 403 seats in the state Assembly, accounted for 64 percent of cash and 78 percent of liquor seized (in terms of value), the minister's reply stated.
As many as 7,103 police cases were registered for excise law violation and 4,579 cases for expenditure-related violations. Uttar Pradesh also accounted for the most cases of excise violation (47 percent) and expenditure violation (51 percent).
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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 14:46:21 IST