Continuing investigations into the alleged cash-for-BJP ticket cheating case involving Hindutva activist Chaitra Kundapura, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials on Saturday recovered over ₹2 crore, which she had used for buying a car, investing in fixed deposits, and purchasing gold valuables.
After gathering information about the money she had spent, a team of police recovered the FD deposits from a co-operative bank in Kundapura, ₹81 lakh in cash, ₹23 lakh worth of gold valuables, and ₹12 lakh worth of EMIs paid for the car she had purchased.
These transactions, according to the CCB officials, were made by Chaitra and her associate Srikanth. Sources said that they are collecting documentary evidence to corroborate this.
Chaitra is the prime accused in the case in which industrialist Govinda Babu Poojary was allegedly duped of ₹5 crore on the promise that he would be given a BJP ticket to contest the Karnataka Assembly elections held in May.
The police have arrested seven people so far in the case, while another accused and close associate of Chaitra, identified as Abhinava Hala Swami, is on the run. Three teams of police are on a massive hunt for the swami, who is said to be shifting his hideouts from Karnataka to Andhara Pradesh and other neighbouring States frequently.
The CCB officials on Saturday detained the driver of the swami for questioning. The arrest of the swami will not only recover the money, but also expose the possible involvement of other people, said officials.
BJP distances itself
Meanwhile, a slew of BJP leaders and former Ministers, including C.T. Ravi and V. Sunil Kumar, have distanced themselves from the unfolding scandal and said that neither they nor the party had anything to do with the cheating case. Mr. Kumar said that no one should use the BJP as pretext for cheating. “I do not know anybody who is already arrested by the CCB officials in the connection of the case,” he said.