During the Karnataka elections, 1512 flying squads, 1837 static surveillance teams, 320 excise teams and 180 commercial tax teams were activated. These flying squads, SSTs and Police authorities have seized cash worth Rs 16,80,30,371, liquor of 18,403.5 litres worth Rs 64,67,863.86, drugs weighing 143.1 Kg and worth Rs 7,52,700 and other items worth Rs 3,85,01,566. They have also booked 1976 FIRs till date.
The Income Tax department, itself has seized cash worth Rs 17,69,98,570 and other items worth Rs 7,03,08,780. The Excise Department has seized 9,38,376.06 litres of liquor worth Rs.36,85,81,311 and 14.977 kg drugs worth Rs.4,48,000. They have booked people for 2549 heinous crimes, 3607 cases of breach of licence conditions , 8 NDPS and 11296 cases under Section 15 (a) of Karnataka Excise Act 1965.
On top of that 1360 different vehicles have been seized. Cumulatively, 95427 arms have been got deposited, 8 arms were impounded, 10 arms license have been cancelled, 45119 cases were booked under preventive sections of CrPC. 48511 persons charged. 40664 non-bailable warrants were executed from the date of announcement of elections.
All the teams together, recovered cash, liquor, drugs, amounting to a total of Rs. 83,02,42,662/-.
Public grievance redressal
Out of the 1,04,616 calls received through voter helplines, 93,964 people have sought information, 478 have given feedback, 4,921 have made suggestions and 5,253 have registered complaints. In all 1,03,934 calls have been disposed off.
In addition, 12,058 complaints have been registered by the citizens on NGRS portal, out of which, 9,664 complaints have been disposed off. 2,966 Complaints have been received through the cVIGIL app.
Major complaints received are related to posters and banners without permission (630), money distribution (261), distribution of liquor (143), vehicle or convoy without permission (121), distribution of gifts/coupons (92), paid news (53), property defacement (49). Out of this 1,273 complaints were found to be correct and action was taken accordingly. The complaints have been received through emails and letters (851), newspapers (341), TV channels (88), social media (444). Out of the total 1,724 complaints 1,711 have been disposed off.
Under Suvidha 10,066 applications for permissions have been received, out of which 9111 have been accepted, 200 are in progress within stipulated time and 755 have been rejected. Out of the total applications, BJP (4,129), Congress (3,137), JD(S) (1,145), BSP (389), Independents (543), CPI (36), CM(M) (72) and others (615) have sought permissions. Major permission sought by the political parties and candidates are related to holding meeting and use of loud speakers (3,026), vehicle permissions (intra district), (2,257) and others.
Social media grievances
Chief Electoral Office of Karnataka has taken action on the 444 social media posts reported by the Social Media Cell or political parties. Out of these 444 posts, 384 posts pertain to incurring expenditure. The same are forwarded to concerned returning officers and political parties for booking the expenditure under election expenditure of candidate or party by following due procedure.
Remaining 60 posts are in violation of MCC. Twenty five posts are sent to district election officer/returning officer for taking penal action and 34 are sent to social media platforms through ECI for taking out the content from social media. One website is to be taken down by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as it has violations of the advisory issued by Election Commission of India. The same have been taken down from social media platform.
[The above article is based on a press release from the CEO Karnataka, and has been published with minimal edits]