THE ruling Party in Jharkhand set a new record in horse-trading during the Rajya Sabha elections on 11 June 2016. By fielding 2 candidates, the BJP had sent out this signal early, though it looked as if the JMM would secure victory for its candidate as the Opposition had the support of 30 out of 81 MLAs, and the support of 28 candidates was all that was required for victory. The CPI(ML) had extended support to the JMM. However, the ultimate results were startling.
The JMM candidate had the support of Congress, JVM, MSS, and CPI (ML), totaling 30 members. Of these 1 Congress MLA did not come to vote and 1 JMM candidate Chamra Linda was arrested from hospital. Of the 28 remaining votes, JMM got only 26. The BJP had wrested 2 votes which should have gone to the JMM. However, till now it is not known who played traitor and did the cross-voting. No one has accepted it, and no Party has accused any of its members, creating an intriguing situation with room for speculation and plenty of rumours. Visual media ran the news of JVM MLA Prakash Ram and MSS MLA Arup Chatterjee as the cross-voters. The JVM Legislative Party leader and Arup Chatterjee have denied these reports.
Pressure from the police machinery was visible even in the Vidhan Sabha campus. For the first time, police machinery was wrongfully used to prevent Opposition MLAs from voting
The people of Jharkhand have a right to know which MLAs elected and sent to the Legislature by them are involved in horse-trading. The CPI (ML) will carry out a “Save Democracy, Save Jharkhand” campaign across the State on this issue.