New Delhi, April 12: Illegal cash of over Rs 57 crore has been confiscated from the five states facing Assembly elections with Tamil Nadu leading the list with seizures of Rs 22.75 crore till now. Even as two phases of polls have been concluded in West Bengal and Assam, the Election Commission (EC) said the north-eastern state is second on the tally with Rs 12.33 crore having been seized there.Also Read - Priyanka Gandhi will be crucial in defeating BJP in Uttar Pradesh elections: JD-U

In West Bengal, the figure stands at about Rs 11.90 crore, while Rs 10.20 crore has been seized in Kerala. Puducherry has seen seizures of about Rs 60.88 lakh, EC data said.The cash seizures were made by EC-appointed special flying squads and surveillance teams and by officials drawn from the Income Tax department. Also Read - At least three Indian-Americans win state Assembly elections

“The total progressive figure of seizures made till now is about Rs 57.79 crore. Some cash has been released after seizure in West Bengal and the figures have been compiled after excluding that,” a senior official said today.(ALSO READ:Assam Assembly Elections 2016: Bhartiya Janata Party looks at the state to spread its base). Also Read - Amit Shah kicks off party campaign for crucial Uttar Pradesh polls    

The model code of conduct for these polls came into force on March 4 after EC announced the schedule for the Assembly polls in five states.
The first phase of polling was held on April 4 in Assam and West Bengal while the second part of that phase was conducted on April 11. With this, while polling in Assam is over, five phases still remain in West Bengal.

Elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on May 16.EC, as part of its measures to curb the use of black money in the polls, has deployed ‘expenditure observers’ drawn from central revenue services like Income Tax and the Customs and Excise departments.

In order to keep a tab on the huge cash expenditure during polls, EC has also asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs and Excise department and state police units to keep a strict vigil.