What is happening in Karnataka? Massive amount of cash and alcohol seized ahead of the elections; Is this the reason for no cash in the ATMs?

On the one side, some states are facing problem of the cash, on the other side in some states cash is flowing too freely. This is actually the answer to cash crunch being rumoured by some of the well-known faces and the situation like this created for their personal benefits.

The Automated teller machines (ATMs) might be running dry in some parts of the country but Karnataka, which is witnessing a battle between political parties for assembly elections, is flooded with the notes. The cash crunch seems to be affecting only the common man, and not politicians, especially those in Karnataka.

The Election Commission on Tuesday made a stunning revelation that the amount of cash being seized this time in Karnataka is almost equals the combined amount of cash seized during the 2013 Assembly and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. This total cash is seized from the time when the Model Code of Conduct came into effect i.e from March 27 to April 24.

The amount of unaccounted cash seized this election till Tuesday was Rs 41.94 crore which is almost equivalent to the sum of  Rs 14.42 crore seized during the 2013 polls and Rs 28.08 crore seized in 2014. Both of them together amount to Rs 42.5 crore.

Still, there are more than two weeks to go for polls. Don’t know how much more money will be unearthed that is being used to influence the voters. The spike is not only witnessed in unaccounted cash seizures but also in illegal liquor seized due to the violation of poll code.

A total of 112,877 litres of alcohol was seized in the last two major elections— 2013 Assembly elections and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The figure for the same in this elections till date is 409,099.785 litres. This means that the seizures till now is more than three times the combined quantity of 2013 and 2014, as 296,221.785 more litres of alcohol have been seized.

In terms of monetary value, till now the amount of liquor is almost seven times than that of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Till Tuesday, the Excise Department had also temporarily suspended 303 excise licences for bars and retails shops in Bengaluru alone for violating poll code conduct. The number for the whole state is 793. This is also in stark contrast to 2014 Lok Sabha polls when only 14 outlets were shut during the polls.

Few days ago the Income Tax department in Bengaluru seized cash worth Rs 4.13 crore and 4.52 kg gold jewellery worth Rs 1.32 crore and, interestingly, 97 per cent of the Rs 4.13 crore seized was in high denomination currency.

The department further pointed out that among cash seizures in various cities, Bengaluru tops the list with the figure of Rs 2.47 crore followed by Bellary at Rs 55 lakh.

Karnataka will go to polls on May 12. The counting of votes will take place on May 15. The term of the current 224-member legislative assembly ends on May 28.

The department stressed that a high level of alertness is being maintained at airports and railway stations to check the inflow of money in the state. The department has also set up a 24×7 control room in the state capital to receive election-related complaints from general public and other agencies of Karnataka, and strike teams have been formed in all the districts to act upon any information received.

“The department is into intelligence gathering at various places of public transport and its air intelligence units are keeping a close watch at all airports in the state of Karnataka and also in the neighbouring state of Goa,” it said.