Karnataka: Money for votes? Income Tax seizes Rs 4 crore cash

Bengaluru: In continuation of their efforts to seize unaccounted cash, which may be used to induce voters in the May 12 Assembly elections, the Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation) Karnataka and Goa on Thursday seized Rs 4 crore in cash from three government contractors in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Davangere along with 6.5 kg gold jewellery. Of the Rs 4 crore, Rs 1.02 crore was seized from a car.

“The seized assets were unaccounted for. Besides cash, most of which was in high denomination currency of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500, the tax officials seized bogus and inflated bills and fraudulent labour and cash payments from the contractors,” said an official spokesperson. The DGIT has seized more than Rs 14 crore of unaccounted cash from government contractors since the announcement of the election. Most of them are from Mysuru and have reportedly participated in public works department tenders.

Scarcity of high currency cash has been reported of late from across the country. With Karnataka elections around the corner, followed by elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the inference from the seizure of unaccounted cash by the income tax officials is that huge amounts of cash may have been withdrawn and hoarded for election purposes.  

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