In more troubles for the Grand Alliance government in Jharkhand, the Income Tax department conducted raids at the residences of two Congress MLAs on Friday.
The searches were conducted on a day when Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was supposed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an illegal mining case, but he skipped the summons.
Multiple teams of the IT department launched coordinated searches at the properties of Congress legislators Anup Singh alias Kumar Jaimangal and Pradeep Yadav in Godda, Ranchi, and Bokaro on Friday morning.
While Singh Singh is an MLA from the Bermo constituency, Yadav represents the Poreyahat seat in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly.
IT sleuths reached Yadav’s residence in Godda with the police force. In Bokaro, officials conducted searches at Singh’s residence though the legislator was not present when searches were launched.
Interestingly, MLA Anup Singh had lodged an FIR in Ranchi, alleging a conspiracy to topple the Soren government by the way of bribing legislators of the coalition.
In the last weeks of July, three Congress MLAs Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachhap and Naman Vixal Kongari were arrested by the West Bengal Police in Howrah district with ₹49 lakhs in cash. The trio was travelling in a car.
In the FIR, Anup alleged that Irafan had offered him ₹10 crores in cash and a ministerial berth in the next government to be allegedly led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was also questioned by the West Bengal Police.
The IT sleuths also raided the properties of coal trader Ajay Singh in the capital city.
Speaking to media in Ranchi, MLA Singh said: “This is not an IT raid, but a raid on the behest of the BJP. An attempt is being made to break away Congress MLAs in the state.”
Opposition parties have accused the BJP-led Central government of unleashing central agencies after their leaders to harass them and settle political scores.
On Thursday, Jharkhand CM Soren dubbed the ED summons to him as “harassment” and dared the BJP to arrest him. He also called it an attempt to suppress the voice of the tribal community.