The Congress on Sunday alleged that a black trunk whose contents are unknown had been spotted being carried out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during his visit to Chitradurga in Karnataka last week. The party demanded an investigation by the Election Commission.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, at a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi, said that the party’s Karnataka unit has filed a written complaint with the Election Commission about this. “There were three choppers escorting the prime minister’s helicopter,” he alleged, according to PTI. “After landing, a big black box was taken out and whisked away in a private car which was not part of the SPG [Special Protection Group, party of the prime minister’s security force] cavalcade.”

Sharma said an investigation was necessary. “It needs to be revealed what was in the box, where did the trunk go, and what vehicle it was,” he said. “The nation has the right to know.”

He continued, “If that trunk was not carrying cash, let the inquiry be held immediately. Let the SPG come out [with] what was loaded in prime minister’s helicopter. We hope the Election Commission will take immediate notice of it. It is in the interest of Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party to come clean on the matter.”

Sharma further claimed that Modi is scared to answer questions about his government’s performance and “betrayal of the people” over the last five years. He said the BJP should apologise for the alleged persecution of Dalits under his tenure as a tribute to BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary (April 14).

On April 12, Youth Congress leader Srivatsa tweeted what he claimed was a video of the incident. “What was in the box” he asked on Twitter. “There seems to be something inexplicable happening which needs answers. Will the Election Commission check the contents of the box”. The video was shared by some Congress members, including Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao.

The video shows a black trunk being loaded on to a white vehicle, but does not indicate where it came from. A helicopter’s blades can be seen but it is not clear to whom the chopper belongs.

The Telegraph on Saturday quoted an unidentified official from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee of the Election Commission as saying that he had been informed of the matter. “We immediately raised the matter with the chief electoral officer of Karnataka. Any inquiry is up to the poll panel,” the official reportedly said.