The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of a ‘Cash For Vote Scandal’, sharing a video of officials seizing Rs 1.8 crore from the convoy of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and state BJP President Tapir Gao ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in the state.
Speaking to the media, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the midnight raid on the convoy of Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and Gao “exposes the brazen corruption and poll violation.”
He said “if the video is true, then where is the Election Commission? Are they sleeping? Where is the Enforcement Directorate?”
Videos surfaced on social media showing police officers counting the cash in the presence of the Election Commission’s Expenditure Officer Samrita Kaur Gill.
The cash was being reportedly transported in certain vehicles parked at the Siang Guest House, Pasighat. Five vehicles were searched in the presence of the complainants who belonged to the Youth Congress, he said.
The search resulted in the seizure of Rs 1.80 crore in notes of Rs 500 denomination, Surjewala claimed.
The Congress has raised a number of questions, including if the cash was being transferred for the rally of Modi in Pasighat on Wednesday in the CM’s convoy and through the state BJP President.
“Where did such a large amount come from? Gao has been a habitual offender. Before Manipur elections, he was stopped by the Income Tax department with a large amount of cash at Guwahati airport while he was coming from poll-bound Manipur,” he said.
He also questioned if the cash was transferred for Modi’s morning rally. “Is it not a clear cut case of ‘Chowkidar’ becoming ‘Chor’?”
Surjewala demanded the cancellation of the candidature of Gao from the West Arunachal seat and the resignation of Khandu.