Chandigarh, April 23 IANS | 6 months ago

Punjab authorities have seized drugs worth Rs.731 crore and 7.5 lakh litres of illicit and country liquor in the run-up to the April 30 Lok Sabha polls in the state, an election officer said here Wednesday.

The contraband items were seized after the model code of conduct came into effect March 5.

Punjab's chief electoral officer V.K. Singh said the total amount of drugs seized so far is valued at Rs.731 crore.

He said the cash seizures till date across Punjab totalled Rs.21.85 crore.

Besides, over 2.61 lakh licensed weapons have been deposited by people prior to the election.

Of the drugs seized, heroin alone accounts for nearly Rs.700 crore. Most of the recovery was made by Border Security Force (BSF) troopers along the 553-km barbed wire-fenced border with Pakistan.

Over 30 lakh capsules and tablets, used as intoxicants, were also seized in the past nearly six weeks.

Punjab's 13 Lok Sabha seats go to the polls April 30. As many as 253 candidates are in the fray.

The biggest contest is in Amritsar between BJP's Arun Jaitley and former chief minister and Congress leader Amarinder Singh. The BJP dumped sitting MP, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, to field Jaitley this time.

Other big contests are in Bathinda and Gurdaspur. In Bathinda, Harsimrat Badal, wife of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, is being challenged by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's estranged nephew and former finance minister Manpreet Badal.

In Gurdaspur, sitting Congress MP and state party chief Pratap Singh Bajwa is being challenged by BJP's Vinod Khanna. The later has been Gurdaspur MP thrice earlier.

(Posted on 23-04-2014)

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