The Election Commission has officially announced that since the announcement of assembly elections in these five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram, more than Rs 1760 crore in cash, liquor, drugs have been seized in these election states. And other valuables have been seized. No one will have any doubt that this huge amount of cash, liquor, drugs and valuables was to be used only to attract voters in the elections and get votes. The detailed data of seizures given by the Election Commission is more worrying than surprising. According to the Election Commission, compared to the 2018 state assembly elections, this time there has been a more than seven times increase in seizures in the election states and it is likely to increase further by the end of the elections.
The practice of distributing liquor during elections is very old and this time too there has been no decline in it. According to the Election Commission data, the highest amount of liquor worth Rs 86.82 crore has been seized in Telangana so far in this assembly elections. Madhya Pradesh is at second place from where liquor worth Rs 69.85 crore has been seized. Liquor worth Rs 51.29 crore has been seized so far in Rajasthan and this figure is sure to increase further. Liquor worth Rs 4.67 crore has been seized in Mizoram, the smallest of the five states on the basis of area, and Chhattisgarh is at the bottom in this matter from where liquor worth Rs 2.16 crore has been seized.
But the most worrying thing is the figures of drugs like drugs recovered from these states. Drugs are also being used to woo voters in elections, this in itself is raising many serious questions on Indian democracy, political parties and candidates contesting elections. According to the Election Commission, the highest amount of drugs worth Rs 103.74 crore has been seized in Telangana so far in this assembly elections. Rajasthan is at second place from where drugs worth Rs 91.71 crore have been seized. Mizoram is at third place in terms of seizure of drugs, which is the smallest state among the five electoral states on the basis of area. Drugs worth Rs 29.82 crore have been seized in Mizoram. Drugs worth Rs 15.53 crore have been seized in Madhya Pradesh and Rs 4.55 crore in Chhattisgarh.
Overall, liquor worth Rs 214.8 crore has been seized in the five election states, while drugs worth more than Rs 245.3 crore have been seized. It should also be kept in mind here that this is the data that has been seized by the officials and team of the Election Commission and it is believed that it would definitely be distributed many times more than this. That means this problem is very serious. In such a situation, someone will have to take initiative and move forward to stop this. All the political parties should also sit together and think that there should be some limit to woo the voters because in the elections, along with alcohol, even drugs are being used to woo the voters, there is nothing more shameful than this. And it cannot happen. If the political parties do not voluntarily take steps on this, then the Election Commission should take the initiative on its own or the Supreme Court should take suo motu cognizance of this and issue a notice to everyone and after hearing, make strict rules or laws. .
The author is a senior journalist and columnist.