The Election Commission in Tamil Nadu has seized items and cash totally worth over Rs 428 crore in the run-up to the polls. This comes as the high octane campaign for the April 6 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections ended on April 4, Sunday at 7 pm. Patrolling has been strengthened during night and early morning along with expenditure teams and this has resulted in significant seizure in the last 24 hours. This included cash seizure of Rs 91.56 lakh in Ranipet district, Rs 1.23 crore in Thousand lights constituency, Chennai and Rs 1.15 crore at Veerapandi, Salem.
The total cash seizure alone was Rs 225.5 crore, the rest being precious metal such as gold, besides liquor, an official release said. "Last 72 hours are extremely sensitive from expenditure stand point. Towards this, round the clock surveillance along with CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) teams has been taken up," it said.
It further said that in Tamil Nadu, 105 expenditure sensitive constituencies have been identified and extra efforts as mandated by Election Commission were strengthened. As many as 118 Expenditure Observers have been drafted to monitor expenditure by candidates and political parties.
As many as 3,998 candidates, including Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, DMK President MK Stalin, AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and BJP state unit chief L Murugan are in the fray. Over 6.28 crore eligible voters will choose 234 members of the 3,998 contesting the elections.
Around mid March, Tamil Nadu led among the five states heading in for elections. As of March 16, 2021, a whopping Rs 127.64 crore worth of cash, liquor, drugs, freebies and precious metals, was seized in the state of Tamil Nadu by the Election Commission of India. Of this amount Rs 50.86 crore is in cash, Rs 1.32 crore in liquor, Rs 35 lakh worth drugs, freebies worth Rs 14.06 crore and Rs 61.04 crore in precious metals.
(With inputs from PTI)