Role of a few disgruntled Congress MLAs is under scanner for alleged horse trading.
With the arrest of three persons on charges of trying to bribe Congress legislators in Jharkhand, the survival of the state government is in the dock. The Congress had refuted the charges claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command is trying to destabilize the state government and all is well in the Jharkhand Congress. The role of a few disgruntled Congress members of legislative assembly (MLAs) is under the scanner with the allegations that they were involved in horse trading.
“The party is united and the government will complete its full term, there are forces who are trying to destabilize the government but all the 19 MLAs are united,” Rameshwar Oraon, state cabinet minister told The Sunday Guardian. Another leader Irfan Ansari also reiterated the same. “We all are united and will never compromise with the secular ideas, come what may,” Ansari said, while his own role is under question in the episode. The party held a discussion on the issue with many MLAs attending the meeting.
Three of the party MLAs have been accused of meeting some BJP leaders to topple the government in the state. Former central minister and senior Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay had claimed that there has been a serious attempt by the BJP to topple the Jharkhand government by offering money to party legislators.
“The BJP wants to form its own government in the state by blatantly using money power and central machinery as Jharkhand is a mineral rich state. In the past also, there were attempts to offer money to ruling party MLAs.” Sahay said. Senior Congress MLA Naman Bixal Kongari claimed that he was offered crores of rupees and a cabinet ministerial berth in the state government. Many believe that internal power struggle in Congress might have a role to play in the episode as many MLAs are not happy with the functioning of the government.
“If there are internal contradictions in the party and a few MLAs are desperate to get the lion’s share in the power equation of a coalition government, it is natural that the other side may try to taste the water, it’s called realpolitik,” said Amrendra Gupta, a political analyst based in Ranchi. “Even during the Rajya Sabha polls, there were allegations of horse trading, but no concrete thing came in public domain,” he added.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Indian National Congress (INC) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are the three constituents which are running a coalition government in the mineral rich state which has been bifurcated from Bihar in 2000. The state had previously seen many political upheavals with only one previous government completing its term. The allegations of horse trading have always dominated the politics of the state and put under question the longevity of successive elected coalition governments. Earlier, Ranchi police had arrested three people Niwaran Prasad Mahto, Abhishek Kumar Dubey and Amit Singh on a complaint submitted by Bermo MLA Kumar Jaimangal at the Kotwali police station on 22 July on charges of conspiring to topple the Jharkhand government.