The Congress claimed to have busted a cash-for-votes scandal in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally today morning. Around midnight, just hours before the rally, Rs 1.8 crore in cash was recovered by the police, in presence of election officials, from a local guesthouse. The two cars which contained the stash were part of a BJP convoy, the Congress said. The party has asked the Election Commission to file a case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and his deputy.
Ahead of elections, more than Rs 6 crore in cash has been seized in Arunachal Pradesh. This time, the Congress workers had flagged the cars, which were parked at the Siang guest house in Pasighat -- around 265 km from state capital Itanagar.
One of the cars, from which Rs 1 crore was recovered, belonged to Dr Dengi Perme, candidate for the Mebo assembly constituency, they said. The other car, which contained Rs 80 lakh, belongs to state's transport department, but was allegedly being used by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein.
"It's absolutely wrong. 'Cash for Vote' is rather practiced by Congress party," said Chief Minister Pema Khandu. Admitting that the money was found in a car belonging to a BJP candidate, he said investigation, conducted under the Election Commission will reveal all the details.
In Delhi, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala questioned whether the cash was meant to influence the voters to vote the Prime Minister.
"Next question -- is this the same amount from that 80 lakh crore black money? Does this not prove Chowkidaar chor hai? Is this not a clear cut act of corrupt practice?" he added.
He also showed two videos, which he said, were being circulated in social media and showed the cash being counted by police officers in the presence of Election Commission's Expenditure Officer Samrita Kaur Gill. The party, however, said it could vouch for the authenticity of the video.