New Delhi: The use of money power continued unabated in the recent Assembly elections with officials recovering unaccounted cash to the tune of a whopping Rs 32 crore meant for luring voters.
Rajasthan topped the list with a seizure of Rs 13.4 crore unaccounted cash, which could not be explained by those carrying it. Madhya Pradesh followed it with a recovery of Rs 8.72 crore in cash and Rs 7.58 crore from Chhattisgarh, according to EC data.
In Delhi, which saw the phenomenal success of debutant Aaam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal, officials seized a total of Rs 2.14 crore unaccounted cash during the just-concluded poll, EC sources said.
Mizoram, the only state where Congress returned to power, saw cash seizures of only Rs 18 lakh.
Notwithstanding the huge unaccounted money seizure during the recent polls, Tamil Nadu tops the list of cash seizures during any assembly elections so far. A sum of Rs 36.54 crore was recovered during the 2011 assembly polls in the state.
It is closely followed by Uttar Pradesh with Rs 36.29 crore cash seizures during the 2012 assembly polls when Samajwadi Party returned to power in the state and formed a government led by Akhilesh Yadav.
Andhra Pradesh, which went to polls to elect its new assembly in 2009, saw cash seizures of over Rs 30 crore while Karnataka which went to polls earlier this year saw cash seizures of Rs 17 crore.
The use of black money during polls has been a major concern for the Election Commission which has been initiating a number of measures to tackle the menace.
The EC puts in place static surveillance teams to monitor the cash flow during polls and curb the use of unaccounted and black money in luring voters during elections.
The poll body has already set in motion the task of putting in place a stricter monitoring system during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
As per present EC instructions, the maximum expenditure limit per candidate in bigger states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, besides Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu is Rs 16 lakh in Assembly elections, while it is Rs 14 lakh in Delhi and Rs 8 lakh in Mizoram.