A day after three people were arrested for allegedly conspiring against the coalition government in Jharkhand, a Congress MLA Sunday claimed that a few unknown persons had approached him multiple times and offered Rs 1 crore and a ministerial berth to topple the JMM-Congress-RJD government.
Kolebira MLA Naman Bixal Kongari told The Indian Express that he was approached by three people around half-a-dozen times.
“Three people had approached me through my party workers stating that they worked for some companies. Despite me asking them to go away, they used to find a way to come back…. Once, they offered me more than Rs 1 crore in cash. I immediately informed CLP [Congress Legislature Party] leader Alamgir Alam, and Congress Jharkhand in-charge R P N Singh. I also informed Chief Minister Hemant Soren ji about it,” the MLA said.
When contacted, R P N Singh, however, said: “I can’t discuss these matters with the press.” Chief Minister Soren has so far maintained silence over the issue as well.
Kongari further claimed: “They had approached me stating that apart from the money, I will get a ministerial post and support for all our agendas related to minority and tribal affairs. They also told me they were doing this for the BJP. However, none of the BJP workers approached me.”
The MLA said he cannot confirm if the three who were arrested were the same people who approached him. He said does not remember their faces.
Abhishek Dubey, Amit Singh and Niwaran Prasad Mahato were arrested on Saturday, two days after the police registered a case at Ranchi’s Kotwali Police Station on a complaint filed by Congress’s Bermo MLA Kumar Jaimangal.
The case has been registered under IPC Sections 419 (party to criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Accused Niwaran Prasad Mahato’s Facebook page shows pictures of him with BJP’s Dhanbad MP Pashupati Nath and some local leaders. When asked if Mahto was associated with the party, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said: “He is not a BJP member to the best of my knowledge.”
While Shahdeo demanded a CBI inquiry, former chief minister and BJP leader Babulal Marandi demanded that the police should hold a press conference and make public all aspects related to the case. The police so far have not explained the modus operandi in the case, and only released a press release only saying the three accused have said they were involved in a conspiracy against the government and were planning to destabilise it.