Poll seizures touch Rs 33 crore in district, sixth highest in state : The Tribune India

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Poll seizures touch Rs 33 crore in district, sixth highest in state

Cash, drugs, liquor, freebies worth Rs 604 cr seized in state, fourth highest in country

Poll seizures touch Rs 33 crore  in district, sixth highest in state

A static surveillance team checks a vehicle during a drive in Ludhiana on Tuesday. PHOTO: INDERJEET VERMA

Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, May 14

Seizures of illegal and prohibited material during the ongoing model code of conduct (MCC) for the General Election to the 18th Lok Sabha have touched Rs 33 crore in Ludhiana district, official figures have revealed.

The recoveries were affected since March 16 when the Election Commission of India (ECI) had imposed the MCC while announcing the election schedule in the country.

The seizures made in Ludhiana were sixth highest in the state, where the recoveries worth a whopping Rs 604 crore have been made during the past less than two months of the poll code so far.

The recoveries included unaccounted cash, liquor, drugs, narcotics, precious metals, freebies and other items, which were illegal and prohibited under the MCC guidelines.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sibin C told The Tribune on Tuesday that various state and Central agencies had seized cash and other prohibited items worth Rs 604.09 crore, during the interception of vehicles and people at special election nakas (check-posts) set up across the state between March 16 and May 13.

He said Punjab had ranked fourth in the country in terms of the seizures while Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan have stood first, second and third, respectively. Punjab’s national ranking has gone up from fifth in April to fourth in May.

Sibin said the maximum seizures amounting to Rs 457.7 crore was made by the state police, followed by Rs 25.51 crore worth recoveries by the Border Security Force (BSF), Rs 15.17 crore by the Income Tax Department, Rs 9.26 crore by the state Excise Department, Rs 5.3 crore by state Goods and Services Tax/Commercial Tax Department, Rs 4.7 crore by the Customs Department, and Rs 3.42 crore by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), in different parts of the state.

District-wise seizures showed that Jalandhar topped the state with highest recoveries worth Rs 147.25 crore, followed by Amritsar Rs 123.13 crore, Tarn Taran Rs 70.67 crore, Fazilka Rs 56.69 crore and Ferozepur Rs 56.68 crore.

Among other districts, Ludhiana logged recoveries amounting to Rs 32.73 crore, Gurdaspur Rs 21.82 crore, Kapurthala Rs 7.77 crore, Hoshiarpur Rs 5.42 crore, Nawanshahr Rs 1.2 crore, Ropar Rs 1.69 crore, Mohali Rs 5.05 crore, Fatehgarh Sahib Rs 64.5 lakh, Moga Rs 6.96 crore, Muktsar Rs 2.05 crore, Faridkot Rs 1.85 lakh, Bathinda Rs 5.46 crore, Mansa Rs 1.56 crore, Sangrur Rs 12.32 crore, Barnala Rs 7.29 crore, Patiala Rs 8.36 crore, Pathankot Rs 21.44 crore and Malerkotla district seized cash and other material amounting to Rs 6.03 crore during the past less than two months.

“Enforcement agencies in the state have conducted extensive operations, resulting in the confiscation of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals and freebies valued at Rs 604.09 crore since the implementation of the MCC for the poll,” the CEO said.

He said the seizures comprised cash amounting to Rs 13.11 crore, liquor valued at Rs 18.54 crore, drugs worth Rs 546.84 crore, precious metals amounting to Rs 18.58 crore, freebies valued at Rs 6.77 crore and other items worth Rs 25 lakh, adding that 24 enforcement agencies from the Centre and state were operating 24x7 in the state to check any illegal activity and smuggling of prohibited commodities during the poll code.

Sibin reiterated the commitment to ensure the conduct of fair, peaceful, smooth and transparent elections in the state, while strictly adhering to the directives of the ECI.

Emphasising the paramount importance of integrity and transparency in the poll process, he underscored tireless efforts of all personnel involved in the process, while upholding democratic principles.

“With unwavering dedication, they remain steadfast in their resolve to safeguard the sanctity of the democratic process and uphold the trust of the electorate,” the CEO added.

Unified dedicated service, says CEO

“Our entire electoral staff is putting in unified dedicated service to ensure fair, smooth, peaceful and transparent elections in the state while following the directives of the Election Commission. Besides the critical significance of integrity and transparency throughout the poll process, we are ensuring unwavering diligence of the entire election machinery, which remains resolute in their pledge to uphold democratic principles and maintain the electorate’s trust,” said Sibin C, CEO, Punjab.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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