The Election Commission (EC) on Friday wrote to the President for countermanding of the Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand.
This followed the seizure of Rs 2.15 crore from the car of Independent candidate RK Agarwal’s relative and allegations of horse-trading. The money was seized by income tax officials from the vehicle of Jamshedpur-based businessman Suresh Agarwal hours before the voting.
The EC suspects the money was meant to buy the support of legislators. New polling dates could be announced Saturday.
Babulal Marandi, chief of the opposition Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik, alleged the money was being brought to Ranchi to buy votes.
The matter also echoed in the Rajya Sabha, where CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said “large scale horse-trading was happening”.
The voting saw all 18 legislators of the ruling BJP dropping their stance of abstaining. They turned up in unison to vote, apparently for alliance partner JMM’s candidate Sanjeev Kumar.
Jharkhand deputy chief minister and JMM acting chief Hemant Soren had threatened to reconsider continuance in the state government if the BJP legislators abstained.
The BJP high command had initially directed the legislators to abstain but reversed the decision on Friday.
“The ruling alliance remains strong. The opposition has tarnished the image of the state by indulging in horse-trading,” said JMM leader and HRD minister Hemlal Murmu.