Congress suspends 3 Jharkhand MLAs caught with unaccounted cash

Three Jharkhand MLAs were detained after a huge amount of cash was recovered from the SUV they were travelling in

Wands of cash recovered from the SUV. Photo: ANI/Twitter

The Congress on Sunday (July 31) suspended the three Jharkhand MLAs who were caught with an unaccounted amount of cash in West Bengal’s Howrah on Saturday (July 30).

On Saturday, the party had alleged that the recovery of cash from its own MLAs had laid bare the BJP’s “Operation Lotus” in Jharkhand.

“The BJPs 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,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.

The Congress has been taking swipes at the BJP for attempts to topple its coalition government and has accused it of trying to poach its MLAs.

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On Saturday, Jharkhand Congress MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were detained by police after a huge amount of cash was recovered from the SUV they were travelling in. Acting on a tip-off, police had intercepted the SUV on National Highway-16 at Ranihati in Panchla police station area.

“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,” Howrah Superintendent of Police (Rural) Swati Bhangalia said.

“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.

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 Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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