Surveillance teams appointed by the Election Commission across the state have seized over Rs.41.48 crore in cash and 4 lakh litres of liquor in the run-up to the polls in the state. According to a release by the PIB, the investigative wing of the Income Tax department has also seized jewellery worth Rs. 4.81 crore from different cities of Karnataka in a move aimed at ensuring fair conduct of elections in the poll-bound state. The amount pertains to recoveries and seizures till April 30.
Interestingly, the total seizure by the department during the whole 2013 assembly elections was Rs.4.97 crore in cash and jewellery worth Rs.3.41 crore.
The IT department and ECI are on intensive surveillance and monitoring in the politically crucial southern state. Searches were conducted in Mysore, Bangalore, Devangere, Khanapur and Hubballi by the Investigative wing of the Income Tax department.
This election is extremely important for both BJP and Congress for several reasons. While the BJP wants to capture power and create a southern baston, the Congress is trying hard to save its one of those few states where it is in power.
The upcoming assembly election in Karnataka is the most significant current political development in Indian politics and parties contesting it have deployed all possible resources to ensure their win. However, elections in India have other dimensions and ECI is pulling out all stops to conduct free and fair elections. In this regard, for the first time, teams with statutory powers, sufficient resources in terms of manpower and vehicles have been deployed in each district of the state.
Broadly, election expenditures are of two types. While the first, which is permissible under law, includes expenditure on campaigning like on public rallies, meetings, posters, banners, vehicles, advertisement in print and electronic media etc., the second category of expenditure is on items which are not permitted under the law. These may include distribution of money, liquor or any other items with intent to influence electors and these come under the definition of bribery and is an offence under the IPC and corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act,1951. All such expenditures are illegal.