Ranchi: Amid reports of horse-trading in the Rajya Sabha polls in Jharkhand following a seizure of Rs.2 crore from a car reportedly belonged to a candidate’s kin, Election Commission on Friday ordered to stop counting of votes.

The seizure has sparked off fears that the money was intended to influence the polls, fuelling speculations that the Election Commission may scrap the elections.

The Election Commission has sought reports from Jharkhand’s Chief Electoral Officer on certain points after which further decision on resuming counting will be taken.

Income Tax department on Friday morning seized Rs.2 crore from an Innova car, reportedly belonged to an independent candidate R K Agarwal contesting RS polls from Jharkhand. IT officials have been conducting raids at various premises of Agarwal and his relatives since Friday morning.

Meanwhile, out of 80 MLAs in Jharkhand assembly, 79 members voted for Rajya Sabha polls on Friday. The slow pace of the voting increased after BJP’s decision to vote for JMM’s Sanjeev Kumar. However, suspended BJP MLA Ramchandra Baitha casted his vote prior to his party’s decision in favour of the alliance partner JMM.

Five AJSU and two JD (U) MLAs also said to have voted in the favour of the JMM candidate who got 42 votes of first preference. 

However, Congress has contended that its candidate Pradeep Kumar Balmuchhu has got support of 22 MLAs. Congress candidate got support of 12 party MLAs as Anant Pratap Dev’s vote went ‘mistakenly’ in favour of JVM candidate.

Congress has claimed that its candidate has got the support of RJD’s five MLAs and four independents.

If these claims are to be believed, JMM and Congress both seem to be bagging one seat each. But all eyes are now on Election Commission’s order resuming counting of votes.

CPI (ML-Liberation) MLA Vinod Kumar Singh did not vote.

JPN/Bureau