Election Commission (EC) appointed flying squads and surveillance teams have seized over Rs 32 crore ‘illegal cash’ in the five poll-bound states, with the maximum of Rs 15.19 crore confiscated in Tamil Nadu. It is followed by West Bengal where Rs 5.64 crore in cash has been seized by the authorities so far.
In Assam, the figure stands at Rs 5.43 crore while Rs 5.27 crore has been seized in Kerala till now. In Puducherry, about Rs 30 lakh illegal cash has been seized, the latest EC data said.
The seizures have been made by special EC appointed teams and those drawn from the Income Tax department. “The total figure of seizures made till now is Rs 31.83 crore,” a senior official said.
The model code of conduct for these polls came into force on March 4 when the EC announced the schedule for the five states and soon afterwards the special teams were deployed to curb the use of illegal inducements to voters.
Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and union territory of Puducherry will be held between April 4 and May 16, spread over 43 days.
The Commission, as part of its measures to curb black money in the polls, has deployed ‘expenditure observers’ drawn from central revenue services like the Income Tax and Customs and Excise departments.
The poll panel, in order to keep a track of huge cash spent during the polls, has also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), both agencies under the Union Finance Ministry, to keep a strict vigil on movement of unaccounted cash.