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Cash seizure triggers war of words between BJP, TRS

Cash seizure triggers war of words between BJP, TRS

Hyderabad, The cash seizure from a relative of BJP candidate in Dubbak Assembly bypoll in Telangana has sparked a war of words between BJP and ruling TRS while the police on Tuesday released a series of videos to counter the allegations that the money was planted by them.

A day after Rs 18.67 lakh cash was recovered at the residence of a relative of BJP candidate M. Raghunandan Rao, Siddipet Police Commissioner Joel Davis released video footage of the money seized by Mandal Revenue Officer and Executive Magistrate V. Vijay Sagar.

The videos show a woman handing over the cash to the officials and the latter completing the formalities.

The Police Commissioner said when the Executive Magistrate and police officials were coming out of the house, they were attacked by BJP workers who snatched away a part of the cash.

Davis said they registered a case on the complaint lodged by the Executive Magistrate and were trying to identify those who attacked the officials and took away the cash.

Police said the cash was seized from the residence of S. Anjan Rao, and it was meant to be distributed among voters in Dubbak Assembly constituency, where the by-election is scheduled on November 3.

Stating that the police are working under the Election Commission, he said all guidelines were followed while conducting searches at the houses of Raghunandan Rao's father-in-law and another relative. He said the house owners were issued notices before conducting the searches.

The BJP candidate and his supporters had reached there and took objection to the search. The Executive Magistrate said when he was coming out of the house along with the police officers, a group of 20 people, provoked by Raghunandan Rao, who was standing at the gate along with about 200 followers, jumped over the compound wall, attacked them and snatched the money from his bag.

The Police Commissioner said selective footage of Tuesday's incident was released to allege that police had planted the money. "This is absolutely false," he said.

He said he had provided all the information about the cash seizure over phone to BJP state president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay. In view of the situation in the town, he had requested the MP not to come to the town.

"When he came, the police stopped him on the outskirts and sent him back to Karimnagar," he said denying the allegation that the MP was manhandled.

Meanwhile, Sanjay continued his indefinite protest at his office in Karimnagar, demanding suspension of Siddipet Police Commissioner and registration of criminal case against him. He alleged that the Police Commissioner acted with highhandedness and even manhandled him.

The BJP leader said the police official acted at the behest of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to plant the money and implicate the BJP candidate in a false case.

BJP national Vice President D.K. Aruna, who visited Karimnagar and called on Sanjay, said afraid of its defeat in the by-poll, the TRS was using police to plant the money in the house of BJP candidate's relative.

In Hyderabad, police stepped up security at 'Pragati Bhavan', the official residence of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, in view of reports that BJP is planning to lay siege to it to protest the Siddipet incident.

Police also placed some BJP leaders under house arrest to foil any protest. These include party legislators Raja Singh and Ramachandra Rao. BJP MP D. Arvind was also kept under house arrest in Nizamabad.

Meanwhile, TRS leaders launched a scathing attack on BJP for making 'baseless' allegations after its candidate caught red-handed with money meant to distribute among voters.

Finance Minister T. Harish Rao termed as "ridiculous" the allegation by BJP leaders that the TRS is scared of defeat. He pointed out that the same BJP candidate had lost his deposit twice in Dubbak.

The TRS leader rubbished the allegation by the BJP that the money was planted at the house of the BJP candidate's relative. "The whole world has seen the truth with the police releasing full video of the search conducted at the house of BJP candidate's relative. If it is not BJP candidate's money, why did he go there when the search was on," he asked.

Another minister T. Srinivas Yadav asked BJP leaders to mind their language. He said the BJP should not forget that it is no match to TRS, which has lakhs of workers.

"The BJP leaders are doing this drama and making false allegations after being caught red-handed," said Yadav.

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