RS poll ‘rigging’ in Jharkhand: Opposition demands CM’s resignation

Ranchi, July 16 (IANS) The Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have called for the resignation of Chief Minister Raghubar Das for rigging the June 11 Rajya Sabha polls as purportedly shown in some video and audio recordings that surfaced on Friday.

“Now evidence has come before the people. We have repeatedly been saying that the BJP government in Jharkhand used money and the state machinery in the Rajya Sabha polls,” Kishore Sahdeo, the spokesman of the Jharkhand unit of the Congress, told IANS.

He said Raghubar Das should admit he abused his position in manipulating the elections and resign, and the police officer who helped him in such manipulation should be sacked.

The video and audio recordings purportedly feature Raghubar Das, an ADG rank police officer, and a close aide of the chief minister interacting with Congress leader Yogendra Sao who is also husband of Congress MLA Nirmala Devi.

The recordings purportedly show the police officer suggesting to Sao the political favours he and his wife will enjoy if they helped the BJP candidate win in the Rajya Sabha elections.

A video clip also showed Raghubar Das meeting Yogendra Sao a day before the Rajya Sabha poll, claimed Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) President Babulal Marandi who made the recordings public on Friday.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which is the main opposition party in Jharkhand, has also demanded the resignation of the chief minister and registration of an FIR against the police officer.

“The real face of Raghubar Das government has been exposed. He is running Police Raj in the state. Das misused his position to win both seats of Rajya Sabha despite the fact that numbers were not in their favour,” JMM legislator Kunal Sarangi told IANS.

He said the police officer should be removed and an independent probe should be instituted to investigate the evidence contained in the video and audio clippings.

Sarangi also said that his party will raise the issue in the assembly and hit the roads to make people aware about “the Police Raj prevailing in the state.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the state in coalition with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), had fielded in the Rajya Sabha polls central minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and businessman Mahesh Poddar.

The JMM had put up Basant Soren, son of party chief Shibu Soren, whose candidature was supported by Congress, JVM-P and other opposition parties.

The BJP had the number of supporting MLAs required to get Naqvi through, but not Poddar. And yet, it won both the seats.

The JMM candidate lost because two opposition legislators did not turn up to vote and another two voted for the rival side.

–IANS

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