Jharkhand Congress MLAs

Howrah, July 31: Three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand were being questioned after police in Kolkata’s twin city of Howrah acted on a tip-off and stopped their car Saturday evening when they were traveling through Bengal, and found a large pile of cash.

The haul was so large that police sought counting machines from a bank to know the amount, said Howrah (rural) SP Swati Bhangalia.

The vehicle was intercepted at the Panchla-Ranihati intersection based on information about a cash load stashed away in it, but police knew nothing initially about the passengers.

Cops learned later that the travellers are Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap, and Naman Vixel Kongari – three Congress legislators from the neighbouring state, on their way from Jamtara in Jharkhand to East Midnapore in Bengal.

The MLAs were taken to a police station for questioning. “They are asked to reveal the money’s source. Cash counting machines have been sought from a nearby bank branch,” a police officer said. Sources said none of the MLAs have declared the source of the money they were carrying.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress said this was “UTTERLY SHOCKING!”.

“UTTERLY SHOCKING! Huge amounts of cash recovered from a car of @INCIndia MLA from Jharkhand – intercepted at Howrah. Apparently, 3 INC MLAs were travelling in the car. Is ED going after only a select few?,” tweeted Trinamool Congress.

“ED, are you taking a note or the matter is not grievous enough? Machines were brought in to count a huge amount of cash found in a vehicle in which 3 Jharkhand MLAs were travelling. We demand a thorough investigation into the matter,” added TMC.

The TMC further asked for the source of this money and whether the Centre will take any action.

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The party tweeted, “Amidst murmurs of horse-trading and the possible toppling of the Jharkhand Govt. 3 @INCJharkhand were found carrying huge sums of cash to Bengal. What is the source of this money? Will any Central Agency take suo moto cognizance? Or do the rules apply to a select few?”