‘Old friends’, says Himanta Biswa Sarma, dismisses Congress’ allegation of conspiring against Jharkhand govt | The Financial Express

‘Old friends’, says Himanta Biswa Sarma, dismisses Congress’ allegation of conspiring against Jharkhand govt

The Congress claimed that the BJP was trying to destabilise the JMM-Congress government in Jharkhand by offering Rs 10 crore to each MLA, and ministerial berths to some.

‘Old friends’, says Himanta Biswa Sarma, dismisses Congress’ allegation of conspiring against Jharkhand govt
Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier said that Sarma had said that Assam had become a hotbed of jihadi activities. (File image)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday denied accusations levelled against him by leaders of the Congress alleging his involvement in a BJP ploy to topple the Jharkhand government and the arrest of three Congress MLAs in West Bengal’s Howrah district with Rs 49 lakh in their possession. Downplaying the allegations levelled against him, Sarma said that he is still in touch with many Congress leaders due to his previous association with the party.

Stating that many Congress leaders were “old friends,” Sarma said that he is in regular touch with many leaders from the party from several states. Sarma had left the Congress back in 2015 and joined BJP. He is considered to have played a major hand in BJP’s rise in the Northeast.

Congress leaders keep in touch with me as old friends. I had been in that party for over 20 years. They meet me if they come here and I also meet them when in New Delhi,” he told reporters.

The Congress claimed that the BJP was trying to destabilise the JMM-Congress government in Jharkhand by offering Rs 10 crore to each MLA, and ministerial berths to some. The party filed a police complaint against its three MLAs who were intercepted by the Howrah Rural police on Saturday on a tip-off, and subsequently arrested as they were unwilling to reveal the reason behind carrying the large amount of cash with them. The three Congress MLAs — Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari — were sent to 10 days in CID custody following their arrest on Sunday noon.

On Sunday, Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam stated that his party legislator from Bermo Kumar Jaimangal had filed a police complaint against the three MLAs for trying to rope in other Congress MLAs by luring them with Rs 10 crore in cash and ministerial berths if they help BJP topple the Jharkhand government.

“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 alleged. He added that he has lodged a complaint at Ranchi’s Argora police station against the errant MLAs under Section 7(C) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC Section 120 (B), which deals with criminal conspiracy.

The cases against the MLAs have been transferred to Bengal, where the cash was seized, a Jharkhand police official told news agency PTI . The Congress has already suspended the three MLAs.

Senior BJP Jharkhand leader Babulal Marandi hit out at the Congress for blaming BJP to hide their own misdeeds. “This is shameful and ridiculous. They do not trust their own MLAs. They are trying to hide the corruptions and misdeeds of their MLAs,” said Marandi, a former chief minister. 

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 01-08-2022 at 10:38 IST