Jharkhand Police file FIR after Congress MLA alleges he was offered money to topple government
The MLA, Kumar Jaimangal, alleged that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was involved in efforts to overthrow the government.
The Jharkhand Police on Sunday registered a case of corruption after Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal alleged that three legislators from his party had offered him money to help topple the state government, The New Indian Express reported.
Jaimangal alleged that Congress MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari called him to Kolkata to meet Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The MLAs told him that Sarma would give him a ministerial berth in the new government as well as money if he were to assist in overthrowing the current government.
The MLAs promised to give him Rs 10 crore for every MLA whom he could move over to the BJP, Jaimangal claimed.
Ansari, Kachchap and Kongari were arrested on Sunday after they were intercepted by the West Bengal Police allegedly with a huge amount of cash in their vehicle.
A coalition of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal is in power in the state, while the Bharatiya Janata Party is in the opposition.
A first information report based on Jaimangal’s complaint was filed on Sunday at the Argora police station in Ranchi. The police have invoked Sections 8 (bribing a public servant) and 9 (bribery of public servant by a commercial organisation) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Section 171B of the Representation of the People Act (bribery) and provisions of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to criminal conspiracy.
According to Jaimangal, Ansari told him that Sarma was taking part in efforts to topple the government “with the blessings of top shots of BJP political party sitting in Delhi”. The Bermo MLA said that he did not want to be a part of “this unconstitutional, illegal and downright criminal activity” and urged the police to take action.
Sarma said that he was still in touch with Congress leaders, but claimed that they do not discuss politics when they talk, ANI reported. The Assam chief minister had left the Congress and joined the BJP in 2015.
“Even topmost persons of Congress keep in touch with me,” he said. “We don’t talk about politics but being in a party for over 22 years, we keep in touch. I don’t know why FIR was filed on this.”
On Sunday, the Congress party alleged that the money seized by the West Bengal Police was part of a conspiracy by the BJP to topple the coalition government in Jharkhand.
“In the states where the BJP cannot manage to come into power, it tries all sort of tactics,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said at a press conference. “You can see its example in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa and now in Jharkhand. The BJP sets an example of its low-level politics every month.”
On Saturday, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had alleged that BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ in Jharkhand was exposed due to the arrests by the West Bengal Police in Howrah.