Just days before the polls, the Hyderabad city police seized Rs 8 crore on Monday. The cash was seized in Narayanguda in the heart of the city after the Bharatiya Janata Party had withdrawn it from an Indian bank branch in the city.
Police initially seized Rs 2 crore cash from a car while checking vehicles and based on the information given by the two persons in the car, another Rs 6 crore was seized from five persons near a bank, informed sources said.
The money belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which set off speculation if it was ‘illegal’ cash meant for distribution among voters. However, party leaders were quick to respond.
Calling it a ‘non-issue’, state BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said, “We were drawing our own cash from our own account from a bank. When that was being transported to our office, the police intervene, breaks the window panes and take our money. Not only that, they went to the bank and picked up the remaining cash which was drawn as well along with our party’s accountant.”
“This is purely a political conspiracy by the TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) and we strongly condemn this overriding behavior aimed at misleading the population. I want to clarify that BJP has not broken any law and haven’t violated any Election Commission guidelines,” he added.
He also claimed that the money was withdrawn to pay small cash dues to suppliers. The BJP has also claimed confidence that the money would be returned to them soon.
@BJP4Telangana has broken no law nor violated even the MCC of Election Commission of India. This 8 crore cash episode is a non-issue.@BJP4India @drlaxmanbjp @kishanreddybjp @AmitShah @narendramodi @PMuralidharRao @blsanthosh @JPNadda @bjparvind @ShahnawazBJP pic.twitter.com/iPgtEbL0xC— Chowkidar Krishna Saagar Rao (@BJPKrishnasagar) April 8, 2019
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar had said on Sunday that police seized Rs 4.92 crore during the last two days. The police chief also said those apprehended belonged to a single political party but did not reveal its identity.
With this, the Hyderabad police have seized about Rs13 crore in unaccounted cash in the last three days. The police across Telangana have seized Rs 26.73 crore, before Monday's seizure in Hyderabad.
Elections to all 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state are scheduled on April 11.