Cash from Karnataka flowing into poll-bound Kerala and Tamil Nadu

An RBI letter written to banks reinforces suspicions that the upcoming polls are the reason for the increased cash flow.

Mangaluru: With elections to two neighbouring states just weeks away, cash from Karnataka to the tune of several hundred crores is flowing into poll-bound Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with surprise checks yielding huge amounts of cash in areas on the border of Kerala and Karnataka in particular.

While officials denied this, a Reserve Bank of India letter written to banks virtually reinforces suspicions that the upcoming elections is the reason for the increased cash flow.

“We have observed that there is a sudden and large increase in currency demand in the economy. More than Rs 1 trillion (1 lakh crore) increase in currency demand in the last quarter of 2015-16 (between January and March) is unprecedented - in terms of increase in any single quarter,” Research Officer of RBI (Bengaluru) wrote to the Lead District Officer.

In the letter, he raises the pertinent question: “We would like to know whether this demand is due to the state elections in the neighbouring states and whether the money is being withdrawn from Karnataka for that. Please discuss this matter with currency chest/banks in your area and reply to me at the earliest.” Informed sources have told DC that with stepped up surprise inspections on the roads into north Kerala, particularly CPI (M) bastions where the BJP is entering the fray for the first time.

Money is being transported in small amounts in cars to avoid attracting the attention of plainclothes police. Recently, large amounts of cash was transported to Kerala from Karnataka through various inner roads by using private vehicles and sometimes in buses to ensure that it was not noticed by the officials.

"There are many roads connecting Karnataka and Kerala and police checking has not yet started except in checkposts. Thus it is easy for the political parties to take money from Karnataka to Kerala. Money flow from Karnataka to Kerala is an open secret. Party's have already started distributing money to workers and also voters," sources added.

Sources said that officials had seized huge amount of money in two separate incidents in Kasargod district recently. This money is believed to have its origin in Karnataka. "Both Congress and BJP are pumping money from Karnataka to Kerala and also Tamil Nadu. Sometimes it is sent in private cars and also distributed through community and other organisations which have their connections in Dakshina Kannada," sources said.

Superintendent of Police Sharanappa however said that the police did not have any specific information of money from the district to Kerala. "Once election approaches we put up additional checkposts," he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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