Assembly elections 2019: Seizure of cash, drugs and freebies increases five-fold in Maharashtra, three times in Haryana, says EC

New Delhi: Seizure of cash, drugs and freebies aimed at inducing voters in Assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana have seen a massive jump as compared to the last elections, the Election Commission said on Monday.

File image of the Election Commission of India. News18

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi after the conclusion of the polls in the two states, Director General (Expenditure) in the poll panel Dilip Sharma said in Maharashtra the overall seizure stood at Rs 156.94 crore. It included Rs 60.69 crore in cash, over 23 crore worth of liquor and drugs worth Rs 19.5 crore. In the 2014 Assembly polls, the total seizures were to the tune of Rs 30 crore. “It is a five time jump,” he said.

Sharma said in Haryana, the jump is three times the previous figures. In the 2014 Assembly polls, the total seizure was Rs 8.58 crore and this time, it was Rs 24.17 crore.

Referring to the replacement of control units, ballot units and paper trail machines in the two states on Monday, Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain told reporters that in Maharashtra, 525 ballot units, 481 control units and 2800 paper trail machines were replaced. One control unit and at least one ballot unit make up for one electronic voting machine.

He said in case, either a ballot unit or a control unit is replaced the paper trail machine has to be mandatorily replaced. “Hence the higher number of replacement of voter verifiable paper audit trail machines (VVPATs) or paper trail machines,” Jain explained. In a case of a fault in it, only the VVPAT is replaced.

In Haryana, 47 ballot units, 35 control units and 326 VVPATs were replaced on Monday, he said.

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