Ranchi: The CBI on Wednesday conducted raids on the premises of two independent MLAs and the relatives of several other legislators in connection with allegations of horse- rading that had led to countermanding of the March 30 Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand.

"Raids are continuing in the houses of Independent MLAs Bandhu Tirkey and Chamra Linda. We have also launched raids in the house of Pawan Kumar Dhoot in Delhi and Gurgaon,” a senior CBI official said.

Dhoot was one of the independent candidates who had been in the fray for the two Rajya Sabha seats on March 30.

The CBI official said raids were also being conducted at JMM MLA Sita Soren father’s house at Jharsuguda in Odisha and at the residence of RJD MLA Sanjay Yadav’s father.

This is the fourth raid by the sleuths of the central investigating agency after it took over the investigation into the horse trading allegation that surfaced after the recovery of Rs 2.15 crore from a vehicle in Ranchi, hours before the Upper House elections.

The poll for the upper house was countermanded the same night and fresh elections held on May 3 to fill-up the two seats.

According to the FIR, the vehicle carrying cash allegedly belonged to a close relative of one of the two independent candidates. The CBI had earlier conducted raids on the house of independent candidate R K Agarwal and his relatives’ houses.

So far the CBI had conducted raids on the premises of 20 MLAs, who allegedly turned proposers for one or the other independent MLAs for that scrapped poll.

A CBI team from Ranchi also raided the residence of a relative of JMM leader Sibu Soren in connection with the alleged horse-trading matter.

The eight-member team with assistance from local officials searched the house of B Majhi, Soren's relative, at Kedar Gouri Apartments on the Bhubaneswar-Puri road, official sources said.

Certain papers and documents were believed to have been seized.

Majhi, a businessman, who has been staying here since 1996, was not at home when the CBI team conducted the raid, though his two daughters were present.

The CBI also raided two other places in Jharsuguda district in connection with the episode.


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