A day ahead of Ranchi Municipal Corporation election,on Sunday afternoon,the police have recovered Rs 22.61 lakh,kept in three bags from a hotel in citys Lalpur area. The money was found in bundles of 1,000-rupee note and the packet had ward numbers written on it. Fifty-five wards in Ranchi will vote on Monday.
Preliminary investigation indicates that it was intended to be used for a mayoral candidate backed by a national party. We have detained one man who told us that a powerful politician was involved, said a senior police officer.
The incident takes place a year after Rajya Sabha polls were countermanded for the first time after Rs 2.15 crore was recovered in Namkum from the car allegedly owned by the kin of independent candidate and Jamshedpur-based businessman R K Agarwal.
Apparently,room number 202 and 205 were booked at Hotel City Palace on Sunday for four hours in the name of Niranjan Sharma,owner of New Rajasthan Kalewalaya,a popular restaurant and who is reportedly close to a senior politician.
An informant called the state election commission,the deputy commissioner and me with the news. A man,whose surname is Sahu,has been detained. He was apprehended from the stairs of the hotel, said Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh. The maximum permissible spending on the campaign is Rs 5 lakh. So,nobody can justify this amount with excuses like payment for booth representatives, said Singh.
Meanwhile,elections to the rest of the 28 urban local self-government bodies in the state were held on Sunday.
Among the Mayoral candidates is incumbent Rama Khalkho,who recently left the Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch to join the Congress.