The Election Commission stepped up the vigil and seized more than Rs 1,000 crore worth of cash, drugs, liquor and freebies in the ongoing assembly polls in five states. This is nearly four-fold increase in such seizures over the previous round of elections in 2017.

According to a statement from the poll panel, Punjab topped the chart with total seizures amounting to Rs 510.91 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh ( Rs 307.92 crore), Manipur ( Rs 167.83 crore), Uttarakhand ( Rs 18.81 crore) and Goa ( Rs 12.73 crore).

Also read: Watch: Union Minister Smriti Irani performs traditional dance with Manipuri artists

News agency ANI reported that the total seizure in the five states was over Rs 1,018 crore, a nearly four-fold increase over the total seizure of Rs 299.84 crore made during the 2017 assembly elections in these states.

In the five states, the total cash seizure amounted to Rs 140.29 crore, while more than 82 lakh litres of liquor, valued at Rs 99.84 crore, was also confiscated.

Also read: Akhilesh Yadav under attack by the BJP for silence on Ahmedabad blasts convicts sentencing

Hindustan Times reported that drugs worth Rs 569.52 crore, precious metals worth Rs 115.054 crore and freebies worth Rs 93.5 crore were also seized.

“Apart from above mentioned seizure figures, the Commission’s visit galvanised enforcement authorities as the agencies seized drugs worth Rs 109 crore in Punjab and more than eight lakh litres of liquor in Uttar Pradesh in the run-up to the elections,” the commission said in the statement.

Also read: Arvind Kejriwal denies separatist remarks, calls himself ‘world’s sweetest terrorist’

The commission further said it had strengthened monitoring of expenditure in the run-up to the elections in the five states through a multi-pronged strategy.