New Delhi: Record seizures worth Rs 331 crore have been made in Expenditure Monitoring Process in Assembly Elections to Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry, Election Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.
The seizures have already surpassed the total seizures of 225.77 crore made in Assembly Elections to these State/UT in 2016.
With the drive for curbing inducements which vitiate electoral process intensifying, the seizure figures are expected to rise further.
The poll body has deployed 295 Expenditure Observers for effective monitoring to curb black money in General Election to Legislative Assemblies of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry.
The Commission has also appointed five Special Expenditure Observers; Madhu Mahajan, ex-IRS(IT):1982 and B R Balakrishnan, ex-IRS(IT):1983 (both for Tamil Nadu and UT of Puducherry), B Murali Kumar, ex-IRS, 1983 batch (for West Bengal), Neena Nigam, ex-IRS, 1983 batch (for Assam) and Pushpinder Singh Puniha, ex-IRS, 1985 batch (for Kerala). These officers having formidable domain expertise and impeccable track record are deputed for more effective election expenditure monitoring.
On expenditure monitoring, the Commission has convened various meetings with senior officials of Enforcement Agencies of poll-bound States and UT.
After due assessment, 259 Assembly Constituencies have been marked as Expenditure Sensitive Constituencies for more focused vigil.
Distributing cash and gifts during electoral process to influence electorate is not permitted under the law.This expenditure comes under the definition of ‘bribery’ and is illegal.