Elections 2019: EC seizes Rs 1,110.07 crore of drugs, Gujarat tops the list

Updated: Apr 17, 2019, 13:21 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav and Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Recording highest seizure of narcotics in election year, the Election Commission is sitting on drugs worth over Rs 1,000cr; Gujarat alone registers haul worth Rs 500cr

While the general elections are on in full swing, so is the seizure of drugs and narcotics. In the last 20 days alone, since the commencement of the polling season, law enforcement agencies across the country have seized 51,251.72 kg of drugs and narcotics worth Rs 1,110.07 crore. According to the Election Commission of India's (EC) statistics, Gujarat tops the list with seizures pegged around Rs 500.11 crore.

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The general elections are taking place in a total of seven phases across the country. While voting for 91 constituencies has already been done in Phase I on April 11, 97 more constituencies will go the polls in Phase II  on April 18.

As per the seizure report by ECI, a total of 51,251.724 kg of drugs and narcotics were seized across the country. Representational Image/Getty Images
As per the seizure report by ECI, a total of 51,251.724 kg of drugs and narcotics were seized across the country. Representational Image/Getty Images

As per the ECI data, between March 26 and April 15, a total of 51,251.724 kg of drugs and narcotics worth Rs 1,110.08 crore were seized from across the country. Gujarat saw the highest seizures at Rs 500.11 crore, followed by NCT Delhi at Rs 348.48 crore, Punjab at Rs 154.95 crore, Manipur at Rs 31.24 crore and Kerala at Rs 19.79 crore.

The ECI report further states that the average seizure of drugs and narcotics per day is estimated to be around 2,562.55 kg. In 2016, the average per day seizure around the same time stood at 961.265 kg, according to NCRB data.

According to ECI data, goods worth a total of Rs 2,550.75 crore were seized across categories between March 26 and April 15 across the country. Drugs and narcotics seizure topped the chart amounting to Rs 1,110.8 crore, followed by cash seizures at R675.804 crore, precious metals at Rs 503.49 crore, liquor at Rs 211.75 core and freebies and other items worth Rs 49.623 crore. Comparatively, during the 2014 general elections, drugs and narcotics worth Rs 804.59 crore were seized, along with cash Rs 303.86 crore and liquor worth Rs 91.8 crore.

ECI officials said the amount of seizures across all categories - from cash, liquor, drugs and narcotics, precious metals to other items like freebies - is expected to increase during the remaining phases in 355 constituencies, which will get over on May 19. mid-day reached out to Sheyphali Sharan, the official spokesperson for ECI, but she remained unavailable for comment.

'Dangerous for democracy'

Political analyst Deepak Pawar said, "Over the years, the amount of seizures during elections has always seen a rise, which is alarming and dangerous for democracy. But, what needs to be investigated is whether these cases reach a conclusion with people booked in seizures related cases getting punished. Authorities concerned need to investigate this."

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Two Nigerians held in Mazgaon with drugs worth Rs 80K

Nationwide score

Between March 26 and April 15
Rs 1,110.08 crore: Total value of the seized drugs
Rs 675.804 crore: Total value of the seized cash
Rs 503.495 crore: Total value of seized precious metals
Rs 211.754 crore: Total value of seized liquor
Rs 49.623 crore: Total value of seized freebies/other items
Rs 2,550.75 crore: Grand total value of the seized items

The drugs and narcotics toppers

Rs 500.11 crore: Gujarat
Rs 348.48 crore: NCT Delhi
Rs 154.95 crore: Punjab
Rs 31.24 crore: Manipur
Rs 19.79 crore: Kerala

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Also Read: Election 2019: SC seeks EC response on plea alleging cash-for-vote in LS polls in TN

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