The Election Commission said it has seized unaccounted money, illicit liquor, drugs and other inducements worth a total of Rs 3274 crore in the fourth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on Monday.
"Total cash seizure is Rs 785.26 crore, liquor (Rs 249.038 crore), narcotics (Rs 1214.46 crore), Gold and precious materials (Rs 972.253 crore) and other freebies (Rs 53.167 crore), which makes the grand total of Rs 3274.18 crore," said an official statement issued by the EC.
The poll watchdog said it appointed 97 expenditure observers in 72 parliamentary constituencies and 42 assembly constituencies across the country that went to polls on Monday. It was appointed to implement its instructions regarding election expenditure of candidates and for the seizure of unaccounted money, illicit liquor, drugs, and other inducements.
In order to curb the abuse of money power during elections, the commission decided that each expenditure sensitive constituency would have two expenditure observers. States with geographically difficult terrain have also been allotted a slightly larger number of expenditure observers so that there is better visibility and accessibility.
As per the instructions of the EC, the states deployed adequate resources in terms of Flying Squads (FS), Static Surveillance Teams (SSTs) and Video Surveillance Teams (VSTs) in all the parliamentary constituencies and assembly constituencies, the EC said.
The number of expenditure observers was 97, assistant expenditure observers (492), FS (1761), SSTs (1757), VSTs (1080), video viewing team (618) and accounting team (543).
Voting was held on Monday for 72 seats across nine states including five seats in Bihar, one in Jammu and Kashmir, three in Jharkhand, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal and 17 in Maharashtra.
An overall voter turnout of 64.05 per cent was registered in the fourth phase of polling.
Seven-phase elections will end on May 19, and results will be declared on May 23.