The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in Jharkhand on Monday alleged senior BJP leaders and liquor barons from Maharashtra had conspired to topple the Hemant Soren-led government and the plot was thwarted with the arrest of three people from a Ranchi hotel last week.
Jharkhand’s finance minister and president of the Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee Rameshwar Oraon said on Monday, plot the to topple the government had started in January itself when BJP tried to engineer defections from the Congress.
In the latest “plot” names of 2 Congress MLAs and an independent legislator were made public as they had travelled to Delhi on July 15 in the same flight along with the 3 arrested people.
As per the probes and questioning by the Ranchi police, names of Chandrashekhar Rao Babanphule, a former minister in Maharashtra, Charan Singh, a leading businessman in Mumbai, Jaikumar Balkhunde of Mumbai have surfaced as those involved in the alleged conspiracy.
As per the police, the 3 persons arrested from a Ranchi hotel had travelled to Delhi on July 15 and were received at the domestic airport by Jaikumar Balkhunde. Two vehicles were arranged for the MLAs, who were accommodated in a Dwarka hotel near the Delhi airport.
Next morning, the three legislators, police said, were taken to the Maharashtra leaders who were also in Delhi. An advance sum of Rs1 crore was reportedly demanded, but it was declined.
The three MLAs returned to Ranchi the next day along with the 3 arrested. Mohit Bharatiya, Anil Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar also returned with them for a “business deal” with the government. They are reportedly liquor traders.
Supriyo Bhattacharya, general secretary of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Monday alleged direct involvement of 2 senior BJP leaders from Maharashtra in the conspiracy to topple the JMM-led government. He alleged Congress and independent MLAs were the target. Umashankar Akela, who one of the Congress MLAs who had gone to Delhi on July 15... claimed on July 26 he had gone to meet his granddaughter in Noida. Amit Kumar Yadav, an Independent MLA on Monday said he had gone to see one of his relatives admitted in a hospital. There was no deal with anyone, they claimed.
Jharkhand Congress Committee working president Irfan Ansari said the Soren government was intact and stable. JPCC spokesman Manoj Pande, too, blamed BJP for its abortive bid to topple the govt. Ranchi police had arrested Abhishek Kumar Dubey, Amit Singh and Nivaran Prasad Mahto from a Ranchi hotel last week with cash. They were sent to a 14-day JC.
NCP lambasts BJP
The NCP, an alliance partner in the Maha Vikas Agadhi with the Shiv Sena and the Congress as its other partners in Maharashtra, on Monday alleged the BJP plotted to topple the Hemant Soren-led government in Jharkhand.
NCP chief spokesman and Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik said the shocking revelations came to the fore after the Jharkhand Police quizzed journalist Abhishek Dubey. The journalist revealed the alleged involvement of former BJP leader Chandrashekhar Bawankule in his party’s plan to topple the Jharkhand government.
“The journalist was in touch with the 3 MLAs. A former BJP minister from Maharashtra had also gone to strike a deal with the MLAs. Also on July 21, BJP office bearers from Maharashtra Mohit Kamboj, Amit Yadav and Ashutosh Thakkar landed in Jharkhand with money. However, they immediately left, sensing that police had come to know about the alleged attempt to topple the government,’’ said Malik.
He said the Jharkhand government has set up 3 SIT teams to probe the attempt to engineer a split in the MLAs. Of the three SIT teams, one is to conduct a probe in Jharkhand, another in Delhi and a third one in Maharashtra. “Two MLAs from Maharashtra are said to be involved. After the arrival of Jharkhand’s SIT team in Maharashtra, the govt will extend full cooperation,’’ he added.
Malik alleged when people in the state are struggling to cope up with the natural disaster like floods, BJP leaders are taking money to engineer a defection among Jharkhand MLAs as they are being lured by promising crores of rupees. The lure of crores of rupees was shown for each MLA. The BJP is working to overthrow the Jharkhand government,’’ he said.