As polling in Assembly elections in the five states came to an end on Monday, the Election Commission said its surveillance teams seized over Rs 178 crore in cash there.
Out of this, about Rs 54 crore was released after due verification process.
Tamil Nadu topped the tally of total seizure of cash where a latest Election Commission data said the figure went up to Rs 112.89 crore even as election expenditure monitoring teams released Rs 46.80 crore as it was found that the cash was moving for bona fide purposes.
The latest EC data further states that out of the total Rs 24.66 crore seized in Kerala, Rs 1.67 crore was released after verification, as it was "not linked" to any political party or candidate trying their luck at the hustings.
TN CEO Rajesh Lakhoni says the clocks, the jewellery, the nose rings – all of them go into a storehouse and will be auctioned afterward. Public will be informed of an auctioning process on a later date after the new government is formed. Goods like dhotis and liquor, are disposed of.
Where does the money go? To the state treasury, where illegal notes then become legal to use. The seized cash, in some cases, is released after ascertaining the bona fide and legitimate purpose of the funds and post verification that it does not have links to a political party or candidate.
If there is a case filed against a party pertaining to a specific seizure of money and goods, the money or goods land up in the evidence locker. So far, there has been no sign of the money landing up as evidence.
According to the Election Commission’s latest data, Tamil Nadu, among all poll bound states, takes the cake with 100 crore rupees seized by the EC among a variety of other goods. Sintex tanks, mobile recharges, liquor, anklets, nose rings, dhotis - the list seems to keep going on.
A total of Rs. 22.87 crore has been seized in Kerala, out of which Rs. 1.43 crore has been released while in poll-bound Puducherry, out of the total seizure of Rs. 4.08 crore, Rs. 4.3 crore has been released.