The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday raided the premises of 13 persons, including nine MLAs — five MLAs of RJD, three of the Congress, and one MLA of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) — and four private persons, in connection with the cash-for-votes scam during the 2010 Rajya Sabha elections.
The raids were conducted in more than 25 locations, 11 places in Ranchi, as well as locations in other districts, including Jamshedpur, Garhwa, Godda, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Jamtara. A simultaneous raid was conducted in Kokrajhar in Assam as well. Laptops, investment documents, IT returns were seized said CBI officials. They did not disclose if any cash was seized.
The CBI is investigating a media sting where six MLAs were caught on tape in the 2010 Rajya Sabha biennial election expressing willingness to accept money in exchange for voting for a particular candidate. RJD MLA Annapurna Devi, JMM MLA Vishnu Bhaiya, Congress MLA Saurabh Narain were among those whose premises were raided. Others whose premises were raided were Manoj Rai, who was private secretary to K.D. Singh, and businessmen Arun Santhaliya and Tilak Ajmani.
“These raids may affect the discussions going on for government-formation and the push from these MLAs for ending President’s Rule in the State,” said a political observer. The cash-for-votes scam was first investigated by the State vigilance department and handed over to CBI this year.