*Representational Picture Courtesy- giridihonline.in
At a time when the ruling BJP and Opposition are again doing the maths for Jharkhand's biennial Rajya Sabha polls on March 23, Jharkhand High Court is slated to hear a petition moved by Congress Legislature Nirmala Devi on her charges of corrupt practices on March 15.
These charges are allegedly related to a case of misuse of electoral exercise that has been clouded by cash-for-vote controversies for years.The case involves two BJP candidates-Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Mahesh Poddar-during 2016 RS polls.
Devi has moved a fresh application seeking to amend her original election petition.She wanted to amplify the corruption charges against two winning candidates of the BJP by flourishing new facts and developments.
She has submitted the letter issued by the Election Commission asking the government to initiate criminal proceedings against a senior IPS officer Anurag Gupta, and the chief minister Raghubar Das's then political advisor, Ajay Kumar, who allegedly coerced her husband to convince her not to vote in the elections.
Responding to this Naqvi filed his reply, saying that Devi's petition was not maintainable as the allegations were concocted and baseless.Soon, the bench of Justice AV Singh took up the matter for detailed hearing on March 8, Devi's lawyer AK Lal sought time, saying he required proper instructions from his client, who lives in Bhopal.
In response, the bench fixed March 15 to conduct a detailed hearing in the case.Incidentally, during 2016 biennial elections, which was held on June 11, the BJP-with 43 MLAs of its own and 4 from ally AJSU party-had sent a shock wave among Opposition parties by raising two candidates-Naqvi and Poddar-and securing their victory.
Records show, out of total 81 MLAs,79 had cast their votes, while JMM MLA Chamra Linda and Congress MLA Devendra Singh failed to exercise their franchise leading to the defeat of JMM's Basant Soren, son of its chief Shibu Soren by a razor-thin margin.