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EC cracks down on money power, seizes record Rs 4,650 cr
EC cracks down on money power, seizes record Rs 4,650 cr

New Delhi, April 15 : The Enforcement Agencies have seized over Rs 4,650 crore before the first phase of polling on April 19, which is the highest-ever seizure of inducements recorded in the 75-year history of Lok Sabha elections, said the Election Commission on Monday.

This marks a sharp increase over Rs 3,475 crore seized during the entire Lok Sabha election in 2019. Significantly, 45 per cent of the seizures are of drugs and narcotics, which are under the special focus of the Commission.

In the country-wide operation, the EC said that the seizures were possible through comprehensive planning, scaled-up collaboration and unified deterrence action from agencies, proactive citizen participation and optimal engagement of technology.

The Commission said that the use of black money could have disturbed the level playing field.

In an incident in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, the Commission suspended the flying squad team leader for laxity in duty and selective checking of a cavalcade of a prominent leader.

Similarly, officials checked vehicles in the convoy of a CM of a state and also the vehicle of a Deputy CM in another state.

The commission has also taken strict action against approximately 106 government servants who were found assisting politicians in campaigning, thereby violating the Code of Conduct and instructions.

CEC Rajiv Kumar has stressed strict compliance with BCAS instructions on surveillance and inspection of non-scheduled aircraft and helicopters by income tax, airport authorities and SPs of concerned districts, said the officials.

Border agencies have also been asked to keep a close watch on international checkposts, and the GST authorities have to closely monitor godowns, especially makeshift godowns meant for storing freebies, the EC said.

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