Voters lured by money sent in bank a/cs during polls: EC

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Innovative methods like transfer of funds through the RTGS banking system and concealment of currency wads inside car bonnets were detected by Election Commission (EC) as it took steps to curb the use of black money during the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

The poll panel's election expenditure monitoring wing, under its Director General (Expenditure) PK Dash, seized total cash of Rs 313 crore and 2.25 crore litres of liquor along with other illegal inducements for bribing voters during the recently held parliamentary and Assembly polls.

"As a fear was created among miscreants, they were constantly changing methods. For example, since vehicles were being checked, it was noticed that some carried cash in the bonnet of the vehicle and, when it was recovered, the currency notes were burnt and the teams seized half-burnt notes.

"Similarly, Rs 8.31 crore in cash being carried on the roofs of buses in five bags was also seized. Cash was being transferred through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) to accounts of voters. Several innovative methods were being adopted to avoid being caught by the checking teams," Dash told PTI.

Under RBI rules, the minimum amount that can be sent through the RTGS system is Rs 2 lakh.

Dash said that notwithstanding the innovative means, EC and its teams were able to effectively contain black money use in the polls.

Talking about the recent raising of the ceiling of expenditure for candidates for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, Dash said the current limit of Rs 70 lakh for Lok Sabha candidates and Rs 28 lakh for Assembly poll contestants was "adequate".

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