The Congress has accused the BJP of trying to topple its coalition government in Jharkhand after three MLAS were caught allegedly with a huge amount of cash in West Bengal’s Howrah, saying the saffron party’s game plan is to do in Jharkhand what they did in Maharashtra.
Acting on a tip-off, police on Saturday intercepted an SUV in which Congress MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were travelling on national highway-16 at Ranihati in Howrah and allegedly found a huge amount of cash in the vehicle. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter on Saturday that “The BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ in Jharkhand stands exposed tonight in Howrah. The game plan of ‘Hum Do’ in Delhi is to do in Jharkhand what they did in Maharashtra by installing E-D duo.” After rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the Maharashtra chief minister recently, the Congress had hit out at the BJP for capturing power “unethically.”
The Jharkhand Congress also claimed that the huge amount of cash was part of a conspiracy by the BJP to topple the Hemant Soren government, of which it is a part along with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. Howrah Superintendent of Police (Rural) Swati Bhangalia had said, “We had specific inputs that a huge amount of money was being transported in a black car. We started checking the vehicles and intercepted this SUV in which three Jharkhand MLAs were travelling. A huge amount of cash was found in the vehicle.” “Cash counting machines are being brought in to ascertain the total amount. The MLAs are also being questioned about the source of the money and where it was being taken to,” she added.
Besides the MLAs, there were two other people in the SUV, which carried a board mentioning “MLA Jamtara Jharkhand” along with the Congress’ election symbol, police said. Ansari is the MLA of Jamtara, while Kachchap is the legislator of Khijri in Ranchi district and Kongari is the MLA of Kolebira in Simdega district