Congress suspends 3 Jharkhand MLAs detained with ‘huge amounts of cash’

The Congress party has suspended the three Jharkhand MLAs who were detained by the West Bengal police on Saturday with huge amounts of cash.

Irfan Ansari, MLA from Jamtara, Rajesh Kachhap, MLA from Khijri, and Naman Bixal, MLA from Kolebira, were intercepted on NH-16, in Ranihati area of Howrah district, following a tip-off, Superintendent of Police, Howrah (Rural), Swati Bhangalia said. The SUV, in which the trio was travelling had a nameplate saying “MLA Jamtara Jharkhand” and was carrying “huge amounts of cash”, Bhangalia added.

At a press conference on Sunday, Congress spokesman Pawan Khera claimed that the central government and Narendra Modi’s ruling party are directly responsible for the declining spirit of democracy. “In states where the BJP can’t come to power through elections, you have several examples of the kind of tactics the party uses, the money it spends and misuses agencies in such states,” Khera claimed. He alleged that the BJP is conspiring to destabilise the Jharkhand government.

Jharkhand in-charge Avinash Pande said during the press conference that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has suspended the three MLAs with immediate effect.

The police on Saturday stated that the MLAs were being questioned about the source of the money and where it was being taken.

Hitting out the BJP, Congress leaders called the incident ‘Operation Lotus’, a euphemism for the alleged poaching of MLAs by the BJP. “The BJP’s ‘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,” Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in charge of communication, tweeted.

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