Rs 27 cr cash, 17L-litre liquor seized in Maharashtra since March 20

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Mumbai, March 23 (IANS) After the beginning of the first phase of Lok Sabha elections started with the filing of nominations in 5 Lok Sabha seats in the Vidarbha region from March 20, the state election machinery with the help of police have seized so far cash worth Rs 27 crore, 17 lakh litres of liquor, 699 kg of drugs and 43 kg of precious metals in various parts of Maharashtra.

Of the Rs 27 crore, Rs 3.60 crore was seized in Mumbai suburbs alone, said the state chief electoral officer S Chockalingam here on Saturday.

He however, clarified that the cash seized may not be all illegal and therefore no offence is immediately registered with the Economic Offence Wing of the police. ‘’Only after the verification the offence is registered and the cash is returned if found well within the stipulated norms,’’he added.

He said that in order to have free and fair elections, the Election Commission has deployed five general observers, 6 expenditure observers and 3 police observers in 5 Lok Sabha constituencies including Ramtek, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondia, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Chandrapur where the last date for filing nomination is March 27 while the polling is slated for April 19. According to him, so far 1 nomination has been filed in Ramtek, 2 each in Bhandara-Gondiya and Gadchiroli-Chimur while not a single in Chandrapur constituency.

In Maharashtra, the registration of 1,84,841 new voters took place from March 17 to March 22. Therefore, as on March 23, the total number of voters in all 48 Lok Sabha constituencies now stands at 9,21,67,015.

Chockalingam said that adequate steps are being taken to maintain law and order in the state, especially in the M aoist-infested Gadchiroli constituency for peaceful elections. So far 308 arms without licence have been seized. Of the 77,148 licensed arms, the action has been taken in case of 45,755 pertaining to seizure, confiscation, or allowing the licensed arm holder to keep their arms as per the licence provisions.

Chockalingam said that the names of 300 candidates can be accommodated in EVM but if the number increases the voting can be done through ballot paper.



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