Morung Express News
Kohima | February 20
As Nagaland approaches its general election on February 27, various central and state enforcement agencies have made large seizures of cash, drugs, alcohol and other materials across the State.
A well-known journalist from the Northeast has remarked how “disgusting” the electoral politics is in Nagaland, making reference to the electoral inducement strategies practised by politicians and their agents. This observation is substantiated by the daily consolidated progressive seizure reports by the Media Cell of the CEO, a stark evidence of the ‘murky and tainted’ electoral politics here.
A comparative report of the seizures made during the last general election 2018 and this year’s polls illustrates an astounding difference in seizure of cash, contrabands, liquor etc. The total value of seizures in the 2018 polls was Rs 1,84,38,780 while the same amount for the 2023 polls till February 19 stood at Rs 40,49,00,509. This is an increase of Rs 38,64,61,729. It may be noted here that the 2018 seizure data did not include the value of precious metals and freebies.
The consolidated seizure of cash in 2018 stood at Rs 1,55,85,780 while it stands at Rs 4,81,91,075 in 2023 as of February 19. While monetary value for contrabands seized was Rs 28.53 lakh in 2018, the same was Rs 31,30,84,530 as of February 19, 2023. In terms of freebies, Rs 4,36,23,240 was seized; while Rs 1,664 worth of precious metals was also confiscated. (See box)
Recently, DGP Nagaland, Rupin Sharma pointed to a shift in the nature of election inducements from liquor to drugs, indicating that voters are being lured with drugs.
A social worker, who wished to remain anonymous, speaking to The Morung Express, while appreciating the pro-active DGP for his concern on high substance abuse in Nagaland, opined that attributing high seizure of drugs to elections would be improper. Substantiating his views, he said the high seizure could be due to the intensive frisking and checking as the Model Code of Conduct has been put in place owing to the ensuing election. He informed that substance use has increased 100 folds during the Covid induced lockdown, and the entry of drugs into the state has become easier following the closures of several check gates.
He however, lauded the law enforcing agencies, and said: “if they can continue the frisking and checking even after election period, minimising the inflow of drugs into the state would be a step towards curbing the menace of drugs into the state.”