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Seizures over Rs. 1760 Crores reported in five poll going states since announcement of Elections

Newdelhi:20/11/23:The Election Commission of India’s persistent efforts have led to a significant and exponential increase in seizures in the five poll-going states of Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana. Seizures over Rs 1760 crores have been reported in the five poll-going states since 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. The seizure figures from the ongoing elections in the five states and few previous state assembly elections demonstrate ECI’s unwavering commitment to ensuring free, fair and inducement-free elections by implementing robust measures to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices for a level playing field. It may be recalled that seizures over Rs 1400 crores were done in the past six state assembly elections held in Gujarat, HP, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Karnataka which is 11 times of the previous assembly elections in these states.

This time the Commission has also embedded technology into the monitoring process through the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS) which is proving to be a catalyst, as it brought a wide array of Central and State enforcement agencies together for better coordination and intelligence sharing.

As per reports received from poll-going States, following is the seizure after announcement of elections and as on 20.11.2023 *.

State Cash (Rs. Cr) Liquor (Rs. Cr) Drugs ( Rs Cr) Precious Metals ( Rs. Crore) Freebies and other items ( Rs Crore) Total ( Rs. Crore)
Chhattisgarh 20.77 2.16 4.55 22.76 26.68 76.9
Madhya Pradesh 33.72 69.85 15.53 84.1 120.53 323.7
Mizoram 0 4.67 29.82 0 15.16 49.6
Rajasthan 93.17 51.29 91.71 73.36 341.24 650.7
Telangana 225.23 86.82 103.74 191.02 52.41 659.2
Total (Rs cr) 372.9 214.8 245.3 371.2 556.02 ~ 1760
An increase of 636 % as compared to seizure figures during 2018 Assembly Elections in these 5 states

*Figures are rounded off

Seizures made in past 6 State Assembly Elections:

Name of the State Total Seizure made during Election in the Year 2017-18 (crores) Total Seizure made during Election in the Year 2022-23 (crores) % increase in the Seizure
Himachal Pradesh 9.03 57.24 533.89
Gujarat 27.21 801.851 2846.90
Tripura 1.79 45.44 2438.55
Nagaland 4.3 50.02 1063.26
Meghalaya 1.16 74.18 6294.8
Karnataka 83.93 384.46 358.07
Total 127.416 1413.191 1009.12

ESMS is an endeavour aimed at quick sharing of information by intercepting enforcement agencies to other relevant agencies for multiple deterrence. ESMS provides easy coordination at CEO & DEO level with multiple enforcement agencies involved in election expenditure monitoring process. The platform facilitates real-time reporting, saves time in collecting and compiling reports from various agencies and better coordination. As per reports received from poll-going states, this internal app is working well and helping in the election expenditure monitoring process.

The monitoring process started with visits of teams headed by Sr. DECs/DECs to poll-going States between June and August, wherein, interaction with enforcement agencies and districts was conducted with an aim to sensitize the participating field forces about the importance of expenditure monitoring and also to review their inputs for preparation for elections. Subsequently, the Commission during the review in these states, emphasised on a zero-tolerance approach on checking flow of inducements to influence voters and  multi-level actions by enforcement agencies which is reflected in the increase in seizure in these states. From the day of these visits, Enforcement Agencies stepped up their vigil in their respective domains and by the time elections were announced, taken together, they had already reported seizures of Rs 576.20 crores.

The Commission also held reviews with Chief Secretaries, DGPs, Excise Commissioners, DG (Income Tax) and other senior officers of poll-going States and their respective neighbouring States and UTs.

228 experienced officers from IRS, IC&CES, IRAS, IDAS and other Central Government Services have been deployed as Expenditure Observers. For close monitoring, 194 Assembly Constituencies have been marked as Expenditure Sensitive Constituencies. It is also ensured that there is adequate availability of field level teams in the monitoring process and regular follow-ups with DEOs/SPs and enforcement agencies is done to deal with menace of money-power. The efforts on close monitoring will further continue in the poll- going States till completion of the ongoing elections and the figures of seizure are expected to rise further.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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