Quraishi: take action in ‘cash-for-voting' case

“Satisfied” with the Jharkhand government's move to register an FIR against four MLAs who were shown in a sting operation on CNN-IBN allegedly taking cash for voting in the recent biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi hoped the State government would now take “speedy and effective” action in the case.

“The filing of a criminal case under the Indian Penal Code section as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act will send a strong message that the Election Commission will not tolerate the usage of money power in polls, a practice rampant in many States and particularly in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Quraishi told The Hindu here on Thursday.

He said the Jharkhand Chief Secretary had forwarded the “compliance report” (based on the Election Commission's order a couple of days ago) and said the EC would continue to monitor the progress of investigation.

Mr. Quraishi said the EC had received complaints earlier on “receiving money for voting,” but could not take action due to lack of evidence. “The Commission will have zero tolerance on such incidents,” he added.

The Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau filed FIRs against four Jharkhand MLAs — Rajesh Ranjan (Congress), Simon Marandi, Teklal Mahato (both Jharkhand Mukti Morcha), and Uma Shankar Akela (Bharatiya Janata Party) — for allegedly asking for bribes to vote for two seats in the Upper House. The BJP and the Congress have already served show-cause notices to their respective MLAs asking them to come up with their version on the charges.

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