Drugs, money and liquor — seizures grow five-fold in Maharashtra and triple in Haryana during the Assembly election
- Maharashtra recorded a five fold increase in the value of seizures during the Assembly election this year as compared to 2014.
- Drugs, money and liquor used to woo voters also skyrocketed in Haryana — growing to thrice the size.
- While money was the favoured medium of exchange in Maharashtra, liquor was the preferred good of trade in Haryana.
It’s not uncommon to hear of drugs, money and liquor exchanging hands ahead of elections in India. The Election Commission of India (ECI) deploys surveillance teams, on ground officers and observers to keep vigilant around the days of the elections.
This time around, good worth ₹156.9 crore were seized in Maharashtra — a five-fold increase over the last 2014 Assembly election where the total value of seizures was pegged at ₹30 crore.
The situation wasn’t much better in Haryana with the ECI stating that items worth ₹24.17 crore was confiscated during the election phase — thrice triple the amount from the 2014 Assembly election where the seizures were valued at ₹8.1 crore.
The increase in political parties using such incentives to lure voters mimics the 2019 Lok Sabha election where the horde of drugs, cash and liquor amounted to a massive ₹345 crore. It also means that it’s getting more expensive for them to fight the elections — even if it’s under the table.
In Maharashtra, most of the illegal exchange was in cash valued at ₹60.69 crore, followed by ₹33.4 crore in liquor and ₹19.5 crore in drugs.
On the other hand, in Haryana, liquor was the favoured choice of exchange with bottles worth ₹11.08 crore seized, followed by ₹9.1 crore in cash and ₹3.94 in drugs.
These activities are prohibited under the Representation of Peoples Act.