Hyderabad: ATMs are running dry of cash while at the same time as much as Rs 120 crore has been seized ahead of the December 7 elections, and the count is only growing. All the seized notes are in Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations.
Police officials in various instances confirmed that this was hawala cash defeating the sole purpose of demonetisation. Underlining this claims, Election Commission officials said more cash was seized in this election compared to previous polls.
Former Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat who retired on December 1, said, ‘Demonetisation was thought to be a way of reducing the misuse of money during elections but the ground reality is different.
After demonetisation, it was thought that misuse of money during elections will be brought down. But it couldn’t be proved on basis of the data of the seizures.’
Mr Rawat was referring to the five states where elections are currently on, including Telangana.
Election Commission officials said they were strictly controlling the cash flow and are relying heavily on police. Police said that political activists were coming out with creative ways to hide money.
The police during its checks has found money hidden under car seat covers and in water pipes. Mostly the money is put in the car dickey or back seats. When it comes to a two-wheeler the cash is put in a travel bag.
Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar said, ‘Our sources for information are broadly three categories. Most of the seizures has occurred after getting information from the common public. Some information is coming from Special Branch and police informants. Cash is also coming out because of random checks by police.’
He said the increase of about Rs 22 crore of cash seized from 2014 only reinforces the fact that cash distribution is way high this elections.