Amid a high-voltage political drama unfolding in Jharkhand, Congress MLA Kumar Jaimangal on Tuesday asserted he has known Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for long and hasn't levelled allegations against him but only narrated to police information gathered from colleagues.
Three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand -- Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari – were arrested in neighbouring West Bengal on Sunday after a huge amount of cash was seized from a car they were travelling in.
The grand old party, which is a part of the JMM-led government in Jharkhand, alleged that the BJP was trying to topple the Hemant Soren government by offering Rs 10 crore each and a ministerial berth to MLAs.
Jaimangal had filed a complaint in Ranchi on Sunday alleging that Kachchap and Bixal Kongari had asked him to travel to Kolkata and offered him money, while Ansari wanted to take him to Guwahati from Kolkata to attend a meeting with Sarma.
Reacting to Sarma terming the FIR as "fake", Jaimangal said it was up to the West Bengal CID to investigate whether it was fake or genuine. "Sarma was in the Congress for 22 years. I have been in active politics since 2001, in NSUI and Youth Congress. I haven't levelled any allegation against Sarma.
"I have narrated to the police of Jharkhand and West Bengal the information I gathered from my colleagues. It is a matter of investigation whether that is fake or not," Jaimangal told PTI. He said the CID will decide who had given that money.
"I have lodged FIR and the police will take cognisance," he said. Earlier in the day, Sarma termed Jaimangal's FIR as "fake" and raked up the Bofors scam to hit back at the grand old party.
Sharing a tweet by his cabinet colleague Pijush Hazarika, Sarma wrote, "Fake FIR in #Jharkhand. The so-called FIR looks like @INCIndia asking Ottavio Quattrocchi to file a case against Bofors."
The Rs 64-crore Bofors payoff case involved the Congress-led Union government and members of Swedish government in an arms deal scam in the 1980s and 1990s, with Italian businessman Ouattrocchi figuring as a ‘middleman’ in the deal.
Hazarika tweeted: "5 days before filing the fabricated FIR, Hon'ble CM Dr.@himantabiswa sir took him to the Residence of the Hon'ble Union Coal Minister Shri @JoshiPralhad ji at 9 am of 26th July, 2022 in order to help him in his trade union related matter."
Demanding action against Jaimangal, the Assam minister added, "Mr. @KumarJaimangal has been regularly meeting HCM Dr.@himantabiswa sir. He should face the law for making a fraudulent allegation against Hon'ble Chief Minister of Assam and against those tribal MLAs."
Soon after the FIR was lodged, Sarma had told reporters that Congress leaders stay in touch with him as friends owing to his over-two-decade-long association with the party. Sarma had joined the BJP in 2015 and had assumed the post of chief minister of Assam in May 2021.
Meanwhile, one Deepak Rao Singh on Tuesday lodged a complaint against Jaimangal with Argora Police Station alleging that he "hatched a conspiracy against the MLAs and falsely implicated them despite having cordial relations with the Assam CM."
(With PTI inputs)