Highlights

  • 3 Jharkhand Congress MLAs held in Bengal
  • Huge amount of cash found in MLAs' car
  • Congress: conspiracy by BJP to topple Jharkhand govt

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3 Jharkhand Congress MLAs held in West Bengal with huge amount of cash

The Jharkhand Congress claimed 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's RJD.

Three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand were stopped in West Bengal's Howrah district by the police on Saturday evening after a huge amount of cash was found in their vehicle, a senior officer said.

Acting on a tip-off, the SUV in which MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were travelling was intercepted on National Highway-16 at Ranihati in Panchla police station area, she said.

"We had specific input 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," said Swati Bhangalia, the superintendent of police of Howrah (Rural).

"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 persons in the SUV, which had a board mentioning "MLA Jamtara Jharkhand" along with the Congress's 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.

The Jharkhand Congress claimed 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's RJD.

"It seems to be a conspiracy of the BJP. The BJP has been trying to destabilise the Hemant Soren government since it came to power. If we see what happened in Maharashtra and a few other states, it will be clear that the BJP uses money power to topple governments," Jharkhand Congress working president Bandhu Tirkey told PTI.

"I would like to request the party high command to take stern action against these three MLAs so that a strong message could be sent out to other members of the party," he added.

Tirkey was recently disqualified as an MLA after his conviction in a corruption case.

JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya told PTI that his party will be able to state its stand on the issue on Sunday.

The opposition BJP in Jharkhand rubbished the Congress's allegation.

BJP's Jharkhand president Deepak Prakash told PTI the Congress MLAs should explain where did they get such a huge amount of cash.

Echoing the Congress, the ruling Trinamool Congress of West Bengal claimed the recovery of cash was made amid murmurs of horse trading and the possible toppling of the Jharkhand government.

Also watch: Mithun says 38 TMC MLAs in touch with BJP, ruling party calls him ‘mentally ill’

"Amidst murmurs of horse-trading and the possible toppling of the Jharkhand Govt. 3 @INCJharkhand were found carrying huge sums of cash to Bengal. What is the source of this money? Will any Central Agency take suo moto cognizance? Or do the rules apply to a select few? (sic)" the TMC tweeted.

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