Cash for vote: Four MLAs booked in Jharkhand
Ranchi: The Jharkhand vigilance bureau has lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against four legislators after a news channel telecast a sting operation showing them ready to sell their votes in the Rajya Sabha elections in June.
"An FIR was lodged Thursday night against four legislators," M.V. Rao, inspector general of Jharkhand vigilance bureau, told reporters Friday.
The FIR has been lodged under different sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Rajesh Ranjan of the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's (JMM) Simon Marandi and Teklal Mahato, and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Uma Shankar Akela.
The complaint was lodged as per the directive of the Election Commission, said Jharkhand chief secretary A.K. Singh.
Government sources said the election commission had asked for lodging the FIR against only four legislators and it had spared two Congress legislators who were also in the video footage.
Three Congress, two JMM and one BJP legislator were shown ready to sell their votes in the sting operation by Cobra Post and telecast on a private TV news channel.
It showed Congress' legislators Sawan Lakra, Rajesh Ranjan and Yogendra Baitha were ready to sell their votes and they allegedly demanded Rs.1 crore each.
The two JMM legislators were allegedly ready to sell their votes for Rs.1 crore and Rs.2 crore respectively. The lone BJP legislator was ready to sell his vote for Rs.50 lakh and one vehicle.
The Election Commission Tuesday directed the Jharkhand government to register a police case against the legislators.
The poll panel also said the offence was punishable with imprisonment of not less than six months and could extend to five years and a fine.