New Delhi: The Hyderabad police have seized Rs 8 crore in cash, allegedly withdrawn from the BJP’s state unit’s bank account on Monday. The cheque to withdraw the Rs 8 crore in cash was signed by the party’s state president K. Laxman.
In a statement, Hyderabad police said they intercepted two people in a car carrying cash worth Rs 2 crore. One of the persons said that the money was given to them by one Nandiraju Gopi at the Narayanaguda branch of the state-owned Indian Bank.
When police reached the bank, Rs 6 crore more was found in cash. Nandiraju Gopi, who was present at the bank and apprehended by the police, is an office assistant at the BJP. Another person, S. Chalapathi Raju, is also an office assistant at the BJP.
In total, the police have apprehended seven people.
The police case will not be that the cash is “black money”, as it has been withdrawn from a bank account, but rather why such an enormous amount of cash is needed by the BJP at this time.
Speaking to reporters, BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao confirmed that the cash belongs to the party and that the TRS government had “over reacted”. Though he provided no explanation for why a party which promotes cashless transactions should use cash to such an extent. He said the money was withdrawn to pay the BJP’s service providers.
“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,” Rao said.
The cheque used to withdraw the money was signed by K. Laxman, the president of the BJP’s state unit. The account is registered in the BJP’s name.
In the run up to the elections, The Wire has reported that the value of cash, liquor and other prohibited substances seized has crossed Rs 1,582 crore. This is five times more than the total seizure during the 2014 elections.
At least Rs 377 crore has been seized in cash, which has brought into question the effectiveness of demonetisation to restrict the amount of currency in circulation.