Stringent curbs by the Election Commission (EC) have led to over 85 lakh litres of liquor being seized from five states that went to polls in February-March, with Punjab accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the total haul. According to figures shared by the EC, drugs worth Rs 575.39 crore were also confiscated, making it the biggest chunk of seizures in terms of monetary value.
The poll panel had deployed flying squads and static surveillance teams to check the movement of cash, liquor, drugs, freebies and precious metals during the elections. The total seizures made during the elections in the five states amounted to Rs 1,061.87 crore, which is three-and-a-half times more than the Rs 299.84 crore worth seizures made by the poll authority in the five states when elections were held in 2017.
A total of 85,27,227 litres of liquor was seized from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur since the polls were announced on January 8. Punjab topped the chart at 59,65,496 litres worth Rs 36.79 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh (22,94,614 litres worth Rs 62.13 crore), Uttarakhand (97,176 litres worth Rs 4.79 crore), Goa (95,446 litres worth Rs 3.57 crore) and Manipur (74,495 litres worth Rs 73 lakh).
Of the Rs 575.39 crore worth drugs seized from the five states, Punjab accounted for Rs 376.19 crore, followed by Manipur (Rs 143.78 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 48.48 crore), Uttarakhand (Rs 5.66 crore) and Goa (Rs 1.28 crore). The EC also seized Rs 154.52 crore in cash, precious metals worth Rs 117.44 crore and freebies worth Rs 106.52 crore from the five states.