Jharkhand High today provided relief to three suspended Congress MLAs by nullifying the FIR filed against them in Kolkata -cash recovery case which was showcased by a section of media as Operation Lotus.
Also, Justice S.Chandrashekhar admitted their plea seeking justice in Kolkata - cash case. The nullification of FIR filed by Congress MLA against three Congress MLAs has gained significance for two main reasons.
One, a day after these Congress MLAs from Jharkhand were caught in Howrah in West Bengal with 49 lakh cash on July 30,2022,their own party MLA from Bermo Kumar Jaimangal in Jharkhand had filed FIR in Ranchi alleging that they were planning to go to Assam and meet BJP leader and CM Hemanta Biswas Sarma in a conspiracy by the BJP high command to topple the Hemant Soren government.
A section of Media including the Indian Express reports had dubbed the case as “Operation Lotus”. It meant that the BJP ( whose party symbol is Lotus)was carrying an operation to topple Hemant Soren government by bribing them.
Apparently, it seems, media persons had based their report considering Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal’s allegation that Assam CM Hemanta Biswas Sarma had tried to get these three Congress MLAs-Irfan Ansari,Rajesh Kacchap and Naman Bixal paid.
These media reports indicated that BJP’s Sarma had allegedly got some businessmen approach him ( Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal) and offered Rs 10 crore to join BJP to topple the JMM- Congress- RJD alliance government led by CM Hemant Soren. Soon, the Congress high command suspended them.
Now, with the court nullifying Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal’s FIR the media including the Indian Express faced the charge of highlighting “ Operation lotus” without investigating into the fact- sheet of the case.
Two, even the Congress party is exposed to the charge that some of its leaders in league with their counterparts of the ruling JMM had conspired to make a plan to suspend these MLAs and thereby blame the BJP as carrying Operation Lotus in Jharkhand.
Now, with the court nullifying the FIR of the Congress MLA, the Congress party is expected to at least withdraw suspension order passed against these party MLAs.
The Jharkhand High court had completed hearing and reserved its order on three MLAs’ petitions on February 24. It was made public on March 5,2023.