‘Even top Congress persons keep in touch’: Assam CM on horse-trading allegations

Published on Aug 01, 2022 06:36 AM IST

Congress alleged that the party MLAs caught with huge amount of cash in West Bengal were part of BJP's attempt to destabilize the coalition government in Jharkhand.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma talks to reporters on Sunday. (ANI)
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma talks to reporters on Sunday. (ANI)

Dismissing the horse-trading allegations amid the ongoing political drama in Jharkhand, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that he is still in touch with Congress cadres due to his 22-year-long association with his former party. Sarma's statement came after Jharkhand Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal accused Assam CM of playing a major role in the horse-trading of MLAs to topple the JMM-Congress coalition government.

"Even topmost persons of Congress keep in touch with me. We don't talk about politics but being in a party for over 22 years, we keep in touch. I don't know why FIR was filed on this," Biswa told reporters.

Sarma switched over to the Bharatiya Janata Party from Congress in 2015.

In a police complaint filed in Ranchi, Jaimangal alleged that the three Congress MLAs who were nabbed in West Bengal's Howrah with 49 lakh cash had called him to Kolkata to take him to Guwahati and meet the Assam CM for engineering a defection.

The Congress MLA said he would have been promised a ministerial berth and cash worth crores after bringing down the JMM-Congress government in Jharkhand.

“He assured me that Shri Sarma is doing it with the blessings of top shots of BJP political party sitting in Delhi,” the letter stated.

“I do not want to be part of this unconstitutional, illegal and downright criminal activity and hence informing you that please take action against them who are stationed in Kolkata with token amount and pressuring me to come to Kolkata and accompany them to Guwahati,” it added.

The police have registered Zero FIR against the three MLAs – Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachhap and Naman Bixal Kongari. The SUV in which the MLAs were travelling was intercepted on National Highway-16 at Ranihati in the Panchla police station area.

During the questioning, the MLAs said they had planned to buy the sarees from Kolkata's wholesale market at Burrabazar for distribution purposes at a tribal festival, a police officer familiar with the matter said.

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