Congress may act against two legislators over RS poll defeat

Ranchi : Opposition parties, including the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress, are shocked at the defeat of their joint candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll despite having the numbers in their favour.

The united opposition suffered a jolt after the Rajya Sabha poll results were declared on June 11.

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The main opposition party, JMM, the Congress, JVM-P and the Left parties, had united for the Rajya Sabha poll. Though the united opposition had 30 legislators, their candidate Basant Soren of the JMM lost the poll.

In the 82-member assembly, 79 legislators cast their votes in the Rajya Sabha poll. Of the united opposition, 28 of the 30 legislators cast their vote but the united opposition candidate got only 26 votes, two less than those who voted — thereby helping the BJP candidate, Mahesh Poddar, who got 24 votes, to win on the basis of second vote preference.

Two legislators of united opposition crossed the party line during voting. Their names are not yet clear.

“The BJP has strangulated the democratic system. The ruling BJP first got warrants issued against two Congerss legislators, and arrested one JMM legislator and ensured cross-voting to win the poll,” Supriyo Bhattacrahya, JMM General Secretary, told reporters.

The two legislators of opposition, one each of the Congress and JMM, did not turn up for voting. JMM legislator Chamra Linda was arrested while in hospital. Congress legislator Devendra Singh did not turn up for voting. Warrant was issued against two Congress legislators, Devendra Singh and Nirmala Devi, before the Rajya Sabha poll.

Nirmala came to the assembly at the last moment to cast her vote in a vehicle of former Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren.

“A report has been sent to the central leaders about suspected role of both legislators Devendra Singh and Nirmala Devi. Nirmala Devi delayed her arrival at the assembly to cast her vote, and Devendra Singh did not contact the party leaders on voting day. state Congress President Sukhdeo Bhagat has sought permission for action against both legislators,” a Congress sources told IANS.