New Delhi: Over 60 crore rupees in illegal cash has been confiscated from the five states facing assembly polls. Tamil Nadu leads the list, with the seizures of 24.55 crore rupees.
Even though polls have concluded in Assam, it ranks second in the tally with 12.33 crore rupees having been seized there. In West Bengal, the figure stands at about 12.14 crore rupees. The third phase of voting will begin today in the state.
In Kerala, 10.41 crore rupees has been seized, while Puducherry has seen seizures of about 60.88 lakh rupees, according to the Election Commission (EC).
The cash seizures were made by EC-appointed special flying squads and surveillance teams, and by officials drawn from the Income Tax Department.
The Model Code of Conduct for the five regions came into force on March 4, after the EC announced the election schedule.
The first phase of polling was held on April 4 in Assam and West Bengal while the second part of that phase was conducted on April 11. Four more phases of polls are due in West Bengal.
Elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on May 16.
The EC, as part of its measures to curb the use of black money in the polls, has deployed expenditure observers drawn from central revenue services like Income Tax and the Customs and Excise departments.
To keep a tab on the huge cash expenditure during polls, the EC has also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the Customs and the Excise Department and state police units to keep a strict vigil.