Punjab Election 2017: Drugs, liquor, cash worth Rs 127 cr seized during polls, reveals EC

Chandigarh: Punjab recorded total seizure of cash, liquor, drugs and other items worth about Rs 127 crore during 2017 Assembly polls, officials said on Tuesday. The recovery of drugs, which was a major issue during polls, however turned out lowest as compared to the seizure made during 2012 assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Total seizure of cash, drugs, liquor and other items during 2017 Assembly polls was about Rs 127 crore, an official spokesman of the State Election Commission said here.

Voters lined up at a polling booth in Punjab. PTI.

Voters lined up at a polling booth in Punjab. PTI.

Among the seizure, the Election Commission-appointed surveillance teams seized cash to the tune of Rs 57.66 crore during 2017 Assembly polls, higher than 2012 Assembly polls and 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The higher amount of cash seizure during Assembly poll phase indicated that there was no shortage of cash supply despite demonetisation, the spokesman said. During 2012 Punjab Assembly polls and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the cash seizure was 11.96 crore and Rs 14.07 crore, respectively, as per information provided by the state election office here.

The election to 117 Assembly constituencies in Punjab were held in one go on 4 February and their results will be out on 11 March. While giving comparative details about the recovery of drugs, the official said the overall seizure of drugs during 2017 polls phase (after model code of conduct announced) was the lowest as compared to 2012 and 2014 polls. During 2017 polls, 2,342 kg of poppy husk and 11.92 kg of heroin (including 8.50 kg seized by BSF) was seized.

And 2,707 kg of poppy husk and 23.54 kg of heroin was recovered during 2012 polls whereas during 2014 elections, 17,604 kg of poppy husk and 155 kg of heroin were seized, the spokesman said. However, the seizure of drugs during the preparatory phase of 2017 polls was much higher as compared to recovery of drugs after model code of conduct was announced on 4 January. During 2017 poll preparatory phase, the surveillance teams recovered 27,886 kg of poppy husk and 124 kg of heroin, the spokesman said.

"Effective measures against drugs during preparatory phase and high availability of central paramilitary force resulted in effective checking on supply of drugs," the official said. The surveillance teams also seized 4.25 lakh litres of liquor and including 10,137 litres of illicit alcohol during 2017 polls. Also, 163.814 kg of gold and 26.520 kg of silver was seized during the election period, the spokesman said.

However, the number of arms and weapons seized during 2017 polls was higher at 298 as compared to 93 during 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 84 during 2012 Assembly elections.

Updated Date: Feb 21, 2017 19:58 PM

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