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Indian authorities seize cash, liquor, drugs meant to bribe voters

Large amounts of liquor, precious metals, drugs and cash intended for use as bribes for voters have been seized ahead of parliamentary election in India, officials said on Tuesday.

Seizures worth 78.5 million dollars have been conducted by law enforcement agencies since the election schedule was announced on March 10, Election Commission Spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan said.

Political parties and candidates spend hundreds of millions of dollars on their campaigns, bribing voters and party workers with free meals, cash in envelopes, plastic pouches of alcohol and drugs.

Aside from setting up a team of tax, revenue and intelligence officials to crack down on vote buying, the government has also developed an Android app where violations of the election code, including large cash transactions, can be reported.

Civil society groups such as the Association of Democratic Reforms have long voiced concern about rampant bribing of people during elections.

Voting in this year’s poll will begin on April 11 and end on May 19.

Nine hundred  million people are eligible to vote. (dpa/NAN)

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