A Karnataka BJP delegation Thursday approached the Election Commission requesting an independent probe into the alleged role of police officers in carrying Rs 1.2 lakh in a government vehicle in the Hassan constituency a day before polling in the state.
The delegation, comprising BJP national general secretary Muralidhar Rao, party's state general secretary Aravind Limbavali and MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, informed the ECI that it does not have "faith and trust" in the investigation being carried out by the state police department.
"It is a serious complaint. The money was seized on April 17 from a police vehicle in Holenarsipura, Hassan constituency a day before the first phase of election. This is a serious incident," Rao told reporters after meeting the ECI. The delegation demanded an independent inquiry in the matter instead of an investigation by the state police department. "We have given a memorandum and the EC has agreed with our arguments and assured of coming out with a positive decision at the earliest," Rao said.
He also hoped the ECI would take steps to initiate an effective investigation by an independent agency, preferably by a team of such officers with unimpeachable integrity and reputation from outside Karnataka. In the memorandum, the state BJP informed that Rs 1.2 lakh in cash was seized from a vehicle owned by the Bengaluru Police a day before the election on April 18 in Holenarsipura in Hassan constituency, from where JDS chief and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's grandson was contesting.
"There are strong reservations about the impartiality and fairness in the investigation by the Karnataka state police. No purpose would be served in continuing with the investigation by the state police as any such investigation would be a mere eye-wash exercise," the party said.
The BJP also requested the ECI to collate and assess all such information regarding election-related malpractices of unlawful usage of state machinery and unaccounted money in the state and seek a thorough, independent and effective investigation into the matter.
"The unlawful use of state machinery to transport sizeable amount of unaccounted money during elections forms only the tip of the iceberg of what could possibly be the biggest and almost detrimental instance of constitutional subterfuge," it added.
The state BJP said it had to approach the ECI as the Karnataka CEO did not take any action despite the complaint. The saffron party's state unit has so far filed as many as 272 complaints before the Karnataka Chief Election Officer (CEO) It is for the first time, the party has brought this matter to the ECI.