A video of two men taking out bundles of cash stuffed in a tyre is doing rounds on social media with people claiming that the BJP is illegally smuggling money to cover election expenses in Karnataka which is going to the polls on May 10.
Spokesperson of INC Karnataka Lavanya Ballal (@LavanyaBallal), who has over 4 lakh followers on Twitter, shared the video with the caption, “When was the last time you saw Rs. 2000 currency? BJP was stuffing it into tyres in chickamagaluru for election expenses ! What a novel idea @CTRavi_BJP.” She later deleted the tweet.
Another user, Ananth Rupanagudi (@Ananth_IRAS), posted the same video with ‘#KarnatakaAssemblyElection2023′. The tweet received over 25,000 views. (Archive)
Twitter Blue user @AMadumool amplified the claim with the caption “You wonder why Rs 1,000 notes demonetized and Rs 2,000 notes introduced? For easy distribution of 15 lakhs each. Here CT Ravi distributing 15 lakhs each as promised in 2014, in style.” (Archive)
First, we broke down the video into key-frames using Invid software and then reverse-searched one of them on Google. This led us to a 2019 NDTV report titled ‘Watch: ₹ 2.3 Crore Cash Seized From Car’s Spare Tire In Karnataka‘, which stated that the Income Tax department had busted ₹2.3 crores in cash from the spare tyre of a car travelling from Bengaluru to Shivamogga in Karnataka. This incident occurred during the 2019 general elections.
“Based on credible intelligence that cash would be transported from Bengaluru to Shimoga and Bhadravati, a cash handler was intercepted and his vehicle was searched. Cash in ₹ 2,000 denomination has been found stuffed inside the wheel of the vehicle,” the tax department said in a statement. The news report does not mention the IT bust being related to the BJP or any other political party.
ANI also tweeted the original video on April 20, 2019, with the caption “#WATCH: Rs 2.30 cr in cash stuffed inside the spare tire in a car seized by Income-Tax officials. The cash was being transported from Bengaluru to Shivamogga. #Karnataka” (Archive)
— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2019
Other media outlets also reported the incident in 2019.
So, it is clear that the viral video is an old one. The clip showing two men taking out bundles of cash stuffed inside a spare tyre is actually from 2019. It is being falsely linked to the BJP and the 2023 Karnataka state elections. In 2019, the Income Tax department busted ₹2.3 crores in cash from the spare tyre of a car travelling from Bengaluru to Shivamogga. Though the incident happened during the general elections, no media report linked it to any political party.
Abira Das is an intern at Alt News.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.