Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

More than Rs 42 crore in cash was found hidden in 22 boxes under a bed at a house in Bengaluru late last night. The cash was recovered following Income Tax raids on a former woman corporator and her husband. Telangana’s Finance Minister Harish Rao has now linked the seizures to election funding in his state.

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader today claimed the money had been collected from builders, gold businesses and contractors in the name of Telangana tax and was part of Rs 1,500 crore being sent in from the neighbouring state to fund the Congress election campaign in the state led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. “They are trying to pump money into Telangana to win the election here. They are even selling tickets. But they won’t win here,” Harish Rao alleged.

BRS Working President K T Rama Rao also alleged that Congress is pumping crores of rupees into Telangana to purchase votes in the upcoming Assembly polls. Telangana goes to the polls on November 30.

The cash in Rs 500 denominations was found after raids on Ashwathamma, her husband R Ambikapathy, their daughter and Ashwathamma’s brother-in-law Pradeep in RT Nagar at midnight.

R Ambikapathy is the vice-president of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Contractors’ Association which had accused the previous BJP government of taking 40 per cent commission on public projects.

The money was reportedly to be brought to Hyderabad via Chennai from Bengaluru. IT officials reportedly got a tip-off after which the raids were conducted over the last couple of days.

Ashwathamma is apparently the elder sister of former Congress MLA Akhand Srinivasamurthy.

BJP MLA Munirathna had filed a defamation case against Ambikapathy, who had accused him of demanding commission.

D Kempanna, the president of the Contractors’ Association, Karnataka, while reacting on the raids, said, “He has not taken up any work for the last eight years. I got a call from my wife that Ambikapath and his relatives’ homes had been raided. He has a lot of other work also apart from being a contractor,” he said. “I shouldn’t comment about something I don’t know about. If the amount has been found at his relatives’ house, let the law take its own course,” he added.

The Karnataka State Contractors’ Association had written to the Prime Minister as well as the then Chief Minister about 40 per cent commission being charged on all public projects.

Last month, the Karnataka government ordered a judicial inquiry into the allegations of demand for ’40 per cent commission’ for public projects during the previous BJP-led dispensation in the state. The probe panel will also ascertain whether the estimates were in accordance with the prevailing schedule of rates and necessity to revise estimates in the event of cost escalation.

During the election campaigning, the ’40 per cent commission’ charge was one of the poll planks of the Congress to target the BJP government.

With Congress’s massive victory – with 137 of 244 seats – in Karnataka in May this year, the BJP lost its only bastion in the south.

By admin