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Andhra cash haul: Rs 126cr

Hyderabad, April 27: The Election Commission has directed poll authorities in Andhra Pradesh to step up vigil and press more personnel to curb money flow following a haul of Rs 126 crore in cash since elections were announced early last month.

The seizures include 75kg of gold and 800kg of silver ornaments.

“This is 50 per cent of the cash seized all over the country,” chief election commissioner V.S. Sampath said, describing the haul as a national shame.

Bhanwar Lal, the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) who has deployed nearly 2,400 flying squads and static surveillance teams, echoed Sampath. “It is a shame that Andhra Pradesh has earned notoriety for such heinous acts of buying and selling votes,” Lal said.

The CEO has been holding videoconferences with district police officials and also the state’s director-general of police to drive home the importance of checks. Airports, trains, private buses and cars and even speedboats are all subject to poll checks.

“The flying squads should be in a position to reach the spot within 10 minutes of a complaint,” Lal said. “Let us all strive to erase this black spot on brand Hyderabad and AP Inc.,” he said at a voter awareness campaign here.

A meeting with bankers has been held to keep a tab on ATM withdrawals. One bank has been looking into the withdrawal of over Rs 75 crore in a week in Khammam district. Income tax and police officials are also probing the withdrawal of Rs 190 crore in 15 days in Medak district.