Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the vehicles from which the cash was recovered were part of the chief minister’s convoy.
Guwahati: A major controversy broke out in the frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh after the seizure of Rs 1.8 crores from a vehicle at Pasighat late Tuesday night with the Opposition Congress claiming the vehicle in which the cash was recovered was the part of chief minister Pema Khandu’s convoy.
The recovery of the cash from Pasighat was more significant as it coincided with the election rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. However, expenditure commissioner N. Tsering Glow at Itanagar confirmed the recovery of the cash from a vehicle but clarified there was no detailed information yet from the field officers at the spot.
Expenditure observer for Arunachal West Jagdish Prasad Jangid could not be contacted on any of three contact numbers on the website of the chief electoral officer of Arunachal Pradesh.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the vehicles from which the cash was recovered were part of the chief minister’s convoy. The cash, he said, was being transported in vehicles from the Siang guesthouse at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. The searches were carried out on the complaint of local Youth Congress members, he said.
“Was this part of Rs 80 lakh crore black money that the PM promised to bring back within 100 days of assuming power?” Mr Surjewala asked. The Congress has demanded that a case should be filed against the Prime Minister too, in addition to the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister.
Arunachal Pradesh’s chief electoral officer Kaling Tayeng also confirmed the recovery. “It is true that a cash amount of Rs 1.8 crores was seized Tuesday night from some vehicles. But we don’t have the exact details yet. Since the deputy commissioner and police superintendent of East Siang district are busy with the Prime Minister’s rally in Pasighat, they have not sent a report yet about the recovery. We would be able to get a clearer picture once the report is available by late afternoon,” he said.
Meanwhile, several civil society groups and Congress leaders on Wednesday accused the Arunachal Pradesh CM and his party of transporting cash to remote areas. Claiming that some local leaders and members of civil society were instrumental in the recovery of cash on Tuesday night, sources at Pasighat told this newspaper that local leaders had formed flying squads of their own to raid leaders using cash for votes at the election meetings.
The local residents said they have been trying to lodge complaints to the observers too, but their mobile numbers circulated to the public are mostly found to be out of network areas.