The Election Commission informed here in Delhi on Monday that action has been taken with an effective strategy to stop the use of money power and drugs in election states and more than Rs 1760 crore has been seized in three states. In this seizure, cash, drugs, precious metals like gold and silver and other things have been recovered.
On behalf of the Election Commission, Joint Director Anil Chandak said there has been a significant increase in seizures in five states, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Telangana respectively. Seizures worth more than Rs 1760 crore have been recorded in these states since the announcement of elections, which is more than 7 times more (Rs 239.15 crore) than the seizures made during the last assembly elections in 2018. These recovered figures reflect the commitment of the Election Commission to ensure the fairness of elections.
The Election Commission’s objective was to promote inducement-free elections and a level playing field by implementing strong measures to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices, which achieved remarkable success. Notably, the last state assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Karnataka saw the seizure of over Rs 1400 crore, which is 11 times more than the previous assembly elections in these states.
This time, the Commission has integrated technology into the monitoring process through the Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS), which has acted as a catalyst by bringing together various central and state enforcement agencies for better coordination and intelligence sharing. It used to be.
Since the announcement of elections in five poll-bound states till today, November 20, Rs 76.9 crore (including cash, liquor, drugs, gold-silver, and other items) have been recovered in Chhattisgarh. Similarly, total recoveries in MP are 33.72 crore, and Mizoram is 4.67 crore. A total of Rs 93.17 crore has been recovered in Rajasthan and Rs 225.23 crore in Telangana.
This time the figures of seizures during the 2018 assembly elections in these 5 states are 636 percent more. ESMS plays a vital role in ensuring instant information sharing between other enforcement agencies and various prevention measures. This enables easy coordination at the CEO and DEO level with multiple enforcement agencies involved in the election expenditure monitoring process. Election-conducting states reported that eSMS effectively assists in the election expenditure monitoring process by facilitating real-time reporting through internal apps, saving time in data collection and compilation, and promoting better coordination.
The monitoring process began with senior DEC/DEC-led teams visiting election states between June and August. The objective of these interactions with enforcement agencies and districts is to sensitize the field forces about the importance of expenditure monitoring and to review their inputs for election preparation. Subsequently, the Commission stressed a zero-tolerance approach towards voter influence inducements during its reviews in these states, which resulted in an unprecedented increase in seizures. Before the announcement of elections, enforcement agencies had increased their vigil in the concerned areas and reported a total seizure of Rs 576.20 crore.