The Telegraph
Thursday , November 1 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Scan on Trinamul MP

New Delhi, Oct. 31: The CBI is set to lodge a case against Rajya Sabha MP K.D. Singh amid suggestions that the Chandigarh-based industrialist was involved in a cash-for-vote controversy during elections to the upper House in Jharkhand.

Agency officials probing the role of money during the 2010 and 2012 elections to the House of elders in the state said that questioning of several accused MLAs and study of evidences suggested Singh’s involvement in the alleged scam two years ago.

“We have got enough evidence to initiate a case against Singh and are waiting for approval from the top authorities. It should not take long. Once the case is lodged against Singh, fast-paced investigation will begin in the case,” said a CBI official in charge of the case.

Singh, the chairman of the Alchemist group of companies, had been fielded by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in the June 2010 elections to the upper House of Parliament. Although the party had only 18 seats in the Assembly, Singh got 32 votes.

He later switched camps to join the Trinamul Congress in November that year.

According to sources, the 2010 controversy centred around six Jharkhand MLAs — Simon Marandi, the now deceased Teklal Mahto (both from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha), Rajiv Ranjan, Sawana Lakda, Yongendra Sao (Congress), and Umashankar Yadav Akela (BJP).

The legislators were caught on camera apparently negotiating for money to sell their votes. The sting operation, carried out by a private agency and a news channel, showed the MLAs purportedly demanding Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

After the purported video became public, the Jharkhand government handed over the investigation to the state vigilance bureau. But when a fresh row broke out during the 2012 elections, both cases were handed over to the CBI.