Two days after Congress MLA from Jharkhand, Kumar Jaimangal, lodged a police complaint accusing Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of trying to topple the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress government in Jharkhand, Sarma’s close aide and Assam BJP minister Pijush Hazarika alleged that the FIR was “fabricated”, tweeting out purported photos of the two meeting five days before it was filed.
Hazarika, who is the Parliamentary Affairs minister in Assam, tweeted on Tuesday morning: “Sharing some FACTS about the baseless allegations by Jharkhand @INCIndia MLA @KumarJaimangal: Jharkhand Cong MLA @KumarJaimangal made a fake allegation that the 3 arrested MLA’s had lured him to meet Hon’ble CM Dr.@himantabiswa sir.”
He added that the two had met five days before the FIR was filed. “5 days before filing the fabricated FIR, Hon’ble CM Dr. @himantabiswa sir took him to the Residence of the Hon’ble Union Coal Minister Shri @JoshiPralhad ji at 9 am of 26th July, 2022 in order to help him in his trade union related matter.”
Hazarika attached a set of photos, claiming it was of the meeting. He said that Jaimangal has been “regularly meeting” Sarma. “He should face the law for making a fraudulent allegation against Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam and against those tribal MLAs,” Hazarika wrote.
Responding to the tweet, CM Sarma said that the FIR was “fake”. “The so-called FIR looks like @INCIndia asking Ottavio Quattrocchi to file a case against Bofors,” Sarma tweeted.
The Jharkhand Congress was yet to react to Hazarika’s post but Jaimangal responded to Hazarika’s tweet, and said that the meeting with Himanta and Joshi was because the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) was not called in a meeting in Coal India and that CM Hemant Soren and Jharkhand Congress in-charge Avinash Pande were informed about it. “I have not levelled any allegations against anyone, and only informed the conversation that I had with my MLA colleagues,” he wrote in a tweet.
On Saturday, the West Bengal police had arrested three Jharkhand Congress MLAs after allegedly recovering “almost Rs 50 lakh” from their vehicle in Howrah. Following that, Jaimangal — MLA from Bermo — had lodged a police complaint in Ranchi, accusing the three arrested MLAs of “offering…Rs 10 crore” to “topple the present JMM and Congress government” allegedly at the behest of the Assam chief minister. Jaimangal had claimed in the complaint that the three MLAs “are calling me to Kolkata and offering me money and they are promising (Rs) 10 crores per MLA”.
“Shri Irfan Ansari and Rajesh Kachchap want me to come to Kolkata and then take me to Guwahati where, according to (Ansari), he will make me meet Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma who will give me assurance of a definite ministerial berth apart from the money. Irfan Ansari has told me that he has already been promised (the) Health ministry in the new government. He also told me that he shall be reaching Kolkata yesterday afternoon (July 30),” the complaint, in English, stated.
“He (Ansari) said that he has already got money transferred to his persons and… I (should) reach Guwahati and promise it in front of Shri Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma. He assured me that Shri Sarma is doing it with the blessings of top shots of BJP political party sitting in Delhi,” it stated.
Chief Minister Sarma had dismissed the allegations. Speaking to The Indian Express earlier on Sunday, Sarma said the complaint was lodged “under duress” and that he had known Jaimangal for a long time. “It is strange that he (Jaimangal) says that he needs three MLAs to reach me, and to even come to Guwahati. He has known me for very long, so he does not need any middlemen to reach me. In the FIR, it seems like he doesn’t even know me. So he must have written it under duress,” he had said.
“I have known him (Jaimangal) for many years, and he meets me frequently. I know his father too, we have a whole lot of mutual friends. He is a trade union leader, and he even has a union in Margherita (Assam). I help him on his union matters,” he had added.
Sarma also had said that Congress MLAs met him on a regular basis. “Very, very senior leaders, topmost Congress leaders, are in touch with me for advice…whenever they are frustrated with their party, they come and they meet me,” he had said.