Siddipet police Commissioner Joel Davis dismissed allegations that police was trying to plant the cash bag at the residence of BJP leaders and termed the allegations as “absolutely wrong and misleading”.
The police on Monday had seized Rs 18.67 lakh cash in Siddipet town from the house of a relative of BJP candidate M Raghunandan Rao. Joel Davis more than 30 people attacked the election team and snatched the money and separate cases were registered with regard to cash seizure and the snatching incident. According to him, Rs 12.8 lakh out of the seized money was snatched away allegedly by some unidentified persons.
Joel Davis said the intention of the police was only to ensure free and fair polls in Dubbaka. He said it is wrong and unfair to cast aspersions on the police. “We work under the directive of the Central Election Commission. Our operation is to ensure free and fair. Prima facie we found that the money was intended for the purpose of influencing the voters. Our operation was 100 per cent transparent,” he said.
On Monday, the BJP leaders and workers in large numbers gathered in Siddipet and protested against the police, alleging that the police was trying to plant the money, a charge vehemently opposed by Joel Davis.
On hearing the news of the money seizure, Sanjay and other leaders were prevented in Siddipet from going to Dubbak.
According to him, the attack on the team was planned and they would probe if any conspiracy angle was behind it.
Meanwhile, Telangana BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday undertook “Deeksha” (sit-in protest) alleging that the ruling TRS party is planning to postpone Dubbak Assembly by-poll by hook or crook and is using police force to harass his party workers.
He demanded that the Siddipet Commissioner of Police Joel Davis be transferred immediately as the official was rude with him and some of senior leaders of BJP and prevented him from going to Dubbak though he obtained permission from the Election Commission as star campaigner for the Assembly by- poll.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Monday night met Raghunandan Rao in Siddipet who briefed him about the incident.
Kishan Reddy said he will take up the issue of police high-handedness to the notice of Election Commission and Union government and party central leadership.
He said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had telephoned him to enquire about the arrest of BJP leaders and searches at the residence of Raghunandan’s kin.
He termed the arrest of state BJP lesders, including party president Bandi Sanjay as highly objectionable and that he would take it up with the central Election Commission and election code violation of the TRS government.
He said the TRS party is frustrated at the growing strength and popularity of the BJP in the state. He accused the ruling TRS of misusing the police force to create fear among the BJP ahead of the election campaign for Dubbaka bypoll.