Congress says its MLAs being offered Rs 10 cr each, ministerial berths for toppling J'khand govt

Many political observers have been expressing apprehension ever since BJP's regime change operation in Maharashtra that Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand government could be the next target of BJP

The SUV in which the three MLAs were travelling
The SUV in which the three MLAs were travelling
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NH Web Desk

The Congress on Sunday alleged the BJP was trying to topple the JMM-led coalition government in Jharkhand by offering Rs 10 crore to each MLA.

The party lodged a police complaint against its three legislators arrested in West Bengal's Howrah with a huge amount of cash.

The three MLAs -- Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari-- have been subsequently arrested.

Addressing a press conference at Ranchi, Congress minister Alamgir Alam earlier in the day said the party's Bermo MLA Kumar Jaimangal has lodged a police complaint against the three legislators for allegedly luring other MLAs by offering Rs 10 crore each and a ministerial berth to help the BJP form a government in the state.

"Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were asking me to come to Kolkata and were offering money, promising Rs 10 crore per MLA. Ifran Ansari and Rajesh Kachchap wanted to take me to Guwahati from Kolkata where according to them a meeting was fixed with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma," Jaimangal claimed.

After filing the complaint at the Argora police station in Ranchi, he said he has sought action against the three MLAs under Section 7(C) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC Section 120 (B), which deals with criminal conspiracy.

He said he has urged the police to check criminal activities detrimental to the health of democracy.

An officer of the Argora police station said since the cash was recovered in West Bengal, they were transferring the matter to the neighbouring state.

The Congress, which is a part of the JMM-led government in Jharkhand along with RJD, has already suspended the three MLAs.

Many political observers and journalists have been expressing apprehension ever since BJP's regime change operation in Maharashtra that Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand government could be the next target of BJP.

The BJP, however, rejected the charge with its spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam claiming that the Congress was trying to shift the blame "for its own legislators' wrong-doing".

Acting on a tip-off, the West Bengal Police had on Saturday evening intercepted a SUV in which the three Congress MLAs were travelling, and found Rs 49 lakh in the vehicle. After questioning, they were formally arrested on Sunday afternoon.

News agency PTI reported Bengal police officers as saying that the three MLAs and two other persons, including their driver, were arrested after they failed to answer the police the reason for carrying Rs 49 lakh in cash while travelling in a SUV on National Highway 16 through Howrah district, near Kolkata.

The state CID has taken over the investigation from the Howrah Rural Police.

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    Published: 31 Jul 2022, 8:27 PM