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Hazaribagh tops pre-poll cash hauls

Ranchi, April 2: In election season, illegal cash seems to be flying thick and fast, as the Election Commission has revealed, and apparently Hazaribagh is hogging the limelight.

So far, cash and funds transfers to the tune of Rs 1 crore have been detected in the constituency alone over the last fortnight.

According to a list released by the commission, which has alerted all district and income tax authorities, over Rs 40 lakh cash was seized from Ram Prasad and Ram Lakhan Mahto in Hazaribagh.

Transfers to the tune of Rs 25 lakh each were made by Sandeep Kumar and Pradeep Prasad, also in Hazaribagh, apparently to Ajsu Party’s account.

In Ramgarh, under Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency, Rs 36.99 lakh cash was confiscated from Ravi Kumar and Sujeet Kumar.

“The list mentions the illegal transfer of money during last few days. Income tax department would take action as per law,” the state’s chief electoral officer, P.K. Jajoria, told The Telegraph.

Sources said Pradeep Prasad, a contractor/builder of Hazaribagh, admitted he transferred Rs 25 lakh to the Ajsu Party’s account on March 15, while another Rs 25 lakh was transferred by his busines partner, Sandeep Kumar.

Hazaribagh deputy commissioner and district election officer Sunil Kumar said that as per election commission guidelines any unaccounted for money transfers involving more than Rs 50,000 should be looked into.

“FIRs have not been lodged in these cases and district administration and IT is probing the matter,” he said, confirming the transfers to the Ajsu Party.

The deputy commissioner added they had set up round-the-clock surveillance at six entry and exit points of the district to keep tabs.

Elections are scheduled in Jharkhand over three rounds on April 10, 17 and 24.

While Chatra, Koderma, Lohardaga and Palamau would go to polls on April 10, Hazaribagh, Giridih, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Singhbhum and Khunti would vote on April 17.

The remaining four seats, Rajmahal, Dumka, Godda and Dhanbad, would vote on April 24.