New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday appointed Gopal Mukherjee as Special Expenditure Observer for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, D D Goel for Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland and K K Sharma, Retired DG BSF, as Special Central Police Observer for West Bengal and Jharkhand.

Meanwhile, Shailendra Handa has been appointed as Special Expenditure Observer for Gujarat and Maharashtra and Madhu Mahajan for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The role of the special observers will be to supervise and monitor the work being done by the electoral machinery. They also need to ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons/entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor and freebies in order to vitiate the poll process.

The EC had reportedly seized unaccounted cash, illicit liquor, drugs, gold and freebies worth Rs 539 crore in a matter of just two weeks after the Lok Sabha polls were announced. Currently, Tamil Nadu tops the list with total seizures amounting to Rs 107.24 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh with seizures worth 104.53 crores, then Andhra Pradesh (103.4 crores) followed by Punjab (92.8 crores).

As per a report, the cumulative seizures till date in the four states, namely, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, have either crossed or are near the figure recorded in the respective Assembly polls held in the last five years.

(With inputs from PIB)