The Income Tax Department (ITD) on Thursday said that at Rs 37.33 crore, it has seized “six times” more cash and jewellery in poll-bound Karnataka this time as compared to the last elections in 2013.
The poll campaign, for the 224-seat Assembly to be held on May 12, ended today. “From the beginning of the code of conduct period on March 27 to till date, the department has seized unaccounted cash of Rs 31.50 crore and unexplained jewellery worth Rs 5.83 crore. This is nearly six times the seizure made by the department in the last state assembly election in 2013,” the department said in a statement. “The seizures are likely to further go up in the last days of electioneering,” it added. During the Assembly polls in 2013, Rs 4.97 crore of cash and jewellery worth Rs 3.41 crore was seized by these agencies during the “entire” campaign period, it had said earlier. In the present Assembly elections, the department said, it has been “able to unearth incriminating evidence of the entire process of misuse of money power right from raising unaccounted funds to the distribution of cash and freebies by the contesting candidates.” This has been shared with the Election Commission (EC), district election officers and CEO Karnataka for necessary action under the Representation of People Act, it said. It said that the affidavits filed by the contesting candidates are also being verified with returns of income filed by them and their family members. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 15.