New Delhi: The Election Commission announced on Monday that it has seized over Rs 1,760 crore worth of inducements, including freebies, drugs, cash, liquor, and precious metals, in the five poll-bound states. This amount is more than seven times the seizures made during the 2018 assembly elections in these states. While elections have concluded in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram, voting in Rajasthan and Telangana is scheduled for November 25 and November 30, respectively.
The Election Commission emphasized inducement-free elections for a level playing field during the poll schedule announcement. The Election Expenditure Monitoring System (ESMS) has been introduced with embedded technology to enhance monitoring and coordination among central and state enforcement agencies.
According to the EC statement, seizures worth over Rs 1,400 crore were made in the past six state assembly elections, marking an 11-fold increase compared to the previous elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Karnataka.
Notably, Mizoram saw no seizures of cash or precious metals, but authorities recovered drugs worth Rs 29.82 crore. The Election Commission has deployed 228 officers as expenditure observers, designating 194 assembly constituencies as “expenditure sensitive” seats. The commission anticipates that the seizure figures will continue to rise.