BJP office-bearer among 3 booked for transporting ₹2 crore in Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency

According to the ECI directions, transactions of more than ₹10,000 cash for political activities should be done via cheques or online mode.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 21, 2024 | 8:04 PMUpdatedApr 21, 2024 | 8:04 PM

Indian money. (iStock)

A BJP office-bearer is among the three people who have been booked for transporting a large sum of money in a car in the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency.

The primary among the three people booked is Lokesh Ambekallu, whom the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Karnataka identified as a secretary of the BJP state office.

CEO Manoj Kumar Meena, through the official handle on X (formerly Twitter), identified the other two people as Venkatesh Prasad and Gangadhar.

The Bangalore Central constituency is seeing a fight between Congress’ Mansoor Ali Khan — the son of former Union minister K Rahman Khan — and BJP’s sitting MP PC Mohan, who has won this seat thrice from 2009.

Ground Report: About guarantees, accessibility and performance in Bangalore Central

The case

The CEO said in a series of posts on X that a Static Surveillance Team (SST) intercepted the trio in the Chamarajpet area of Bengaluru on Saturday, 20 April, while they were carrying ₹2 crore in cash in a car.

He noted that the Income Tax (I-T) Department was notified of the cash, and the tax officials summoned BJP officials to verify the source of the money.

The saffron party officials apparently produced documents that showed that the money did not violate any I-T law.

However, the Karnataka CEO noted that the Election Commission of India (ECI) had issued directions for exactly such situations involving large amounts of cash.

According to the ECI directions, if party functionaries, candidates, and agents are to conduct transactions involving cash of more than ₹10,000 for political activities, it should be via cheques or online mode.

The ECI has also advised political parties not to carry or transport huge cash sums.

Also Read: Bangalore Central Cong candidate Mansoor Ali Khan vows ‘fearless fight’


Thus it was that the Karnataka CEO concluded that this was a violation of the ECI guidelines for political parties.

Meena also noted that the list of the people who were to receive this cash was not produced.

He therefore noted that this gave rise to the suspicion that money could have been used for “inducements” in the election.

As a result, the three people were named in an FIR under Section 123 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act and Sections 171(B), (C), (E), and (F) of the IPC, which pertain to bribery and undue influence.

The SST registered the FIR in Cottonpet, having obtained permission from a court to do so.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)