Three days ahead of the first phase of Lok Sabha polls, Telangana police seized Rs 8 crore from the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party supporters. As per reports, the large sum of money was withdrawn from BJP’s account in an Indian Bank branch in Hyderabad on Monday.
With this latest seizure, nearly Rs 40 crore cash has been seized during the election season in the state. As per the Election Commission's Model Code of Conduct, cash seized over Rs 10 lakh should be handed over to the Income Tax Department.
DCP Viswaprasad told ANI that Rs 8 crore were withdrawn by N Gopi, an assistant to the state BJP president K Laxman. Reportedly, acting on a tip-off, the special task force police intercepted a car, and seized Rs 2 crore in cash and arrested two persons. “They also disclosed that some more money was available with Gopi. Police seized Rs 6 crore cash from Gopi and also nabbed five more persons," Viswaprasad was quoted as saying.
Police confirmed that the money seized was handed over to the IT officials.
BJP leaders claimed that the incident was conspired by the TRS government and local parties in the state. “The money was withdrawn legally to pay dues which are pending since January. BJP has not violated any EC guidelines. Our accountant was also detained by the police. This is a conspiracy by TRS and local parties," BJP Spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao told ANI.
On April 4, Rs 9.45 crore were seized including Rs 3.29 crore from a jewellery businessman in Banjara Hills. Reportedly, two state Congress leaders and TDP Rajamundry MP Murali Mohan are linked with the money seized.
The Lok Sabha polls in Telangana are slated on 11 April and the results will be declared 23 May.
Also read: Telangana Elections: Triangular Fight?