Siddipet: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) found itself in a tight corner on Monday following the seizure of Rs 18.67 lakh in cash from the residence of Surabhi Anjan Rao, a close relative of BJP candidate for Dubbak by-poll M Raghunandan Rao in Siddipet town amid high drama.

Following reliable information about money being stacked for election purposes, Siddipet Executive Magistrate V Vijay Sagar, with the assistance of police, carried out raids on three houses belonging to Siddipet Municipal chairman Raja Narsu, the BJP candidate’s father-in-law Surabhi Ramgopal Rao and Anjan Rao. Exposing the ugly side of their politics, over 250 BJP workers outnumbered the small police force accompanying the executive magistrate at Anjan Rao’s residence and snatched away a major portion of the seized cash during the clash with the police.

This is the second instance of seizure of money with alleged links to Raghunandan Rao. On October 6, police seized Rs 40 lakh from a close aide of the BJP candidate at Shamirpet while he was on his way to Dubbak.

Commissioner of Police D Joel Davis, later addressing the media, said Anjan Rao had admitted during the course of the raid that the money was sent by his brother-in-law Jitender Rao through his driver and that the money was meant for distribution among the electorate ahead of the by-poll on November 3.

“The Executive Magistrate, with the assistance of the police, raided these houses, and found the money in Anjan Rao’s residence. Even as the police were coming out of the house with the seized cash in a bag, about 250 BJP activists and workers led by Raghunandan Rao raised slogans. About 20 to 30 BJP workers attacked the police team and snatched away bundles of the seized currency.” The Commissioner said the money in the possession of police now was only Rs 5.87 lakh of the total amount.

Making it clear that the police had followed all the due procedures while carrying out the raids, Davis said the money was seized in the presence of ‘panch’ witnesses, and copies of the seizure report were handed over to Raghunandan Rao’s relatives. “The entire process was also recorded on video and we have proper evidence. We also have video clips of the attack on the police by the BJP workers and we will identify all those involved in the incident as also those who snatched the money from the police. We will initiate stringent action against them,” the Commissioner said.

Davis said the BJP candidate also violated the election code of conduct that was in force in both Siddipet and Medak district entirely since parts of Dubbak Assembly constituency fall in these two districts. “We have video recordings of all that happened on Monday and will be initiating action based on evidences,” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP State president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar and former MP G Vivek, who rushed to Siddipet following the incident, were taken into preventive custody. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy is also likely to visit Siddipet, sources said

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