Karnataka polls: Seizures of cash, liquor, freebies touch Rs 375 crore, up by 4.5 times compared to 2018, says EC

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday said seizures of cash, liquor, drugs and freebies meant for distribution in Karnataka had increased by 4.5 times compared to that during the 2018 Assembly polls. It said seizures worth Rs 375 crore have been recorded so far, as opposed to Rs 83.93 crore in 2018.

In a statement, the EC said Karnataka witnessed seizures of Rs 375.61 crore till May 8, 2023 during the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) period. “Additionally, from the date of visit of Commission in the second week of March 2023 till the date of announcement of elections, seizures of Rs 83.78 crore were also made by various enforcement agencies,” it said.


A total of Rs 147.46 crore in cash, 22.27 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 83.66 crore, drugs worth Rs 23.67 crore, precious metals worth Rs 96.60 crore and other freebies worth Rs 24.21 crore have been seized by authorities during the elections. The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth Rs 288 crore since the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct for the polls.

Shedding light on some of the major seizures, the EC said Rs 4.04 crore was recovered in cash from Kolar district’s Bangarapet constituency, while 100 kg of ganja was seized in Bidar district. Significant liquor seizures have been made in all districts of the state.


Freebies, including sarees and food kits, were seized from Kalaburagi, Chikmaglur and other districts. Besides, a huge number of pressure cookers and kitchen appliances were recovered from constituencies like Bailhongal and Kunigal.

The EC said it deployed 146 Expenditure Observers and 81 Assembly constituencies were marked as Expenditure Sensitive Constituencies for stricter vigil.


Polling for the Karnataka Assembly elections will be held on Wednesday and the counting of votes will be on Saturday. The state has a total of 5.3 crore (5,30,85,566) voters who will cast their votes at 58,545 polling stations.


Of the total number of voters, 11,71,558 are aged 18-19, while 12,15,920 are over 80 years old. Besides, there are 5,71,281 PWD (persons with disability) voters. Around 4 lakh personnel have been engaged for the poll process, it added.

First published on: 09-05-2023 at 13:30 IST