Magisterial probe into BJP MLA’s cash for vote

Guwahati: A magisterial inquiry was ordered today into allegations of cash being distributed in election meetings by BJP MLA Pijush Hazarika for the upcoming bypoll in Dhemaji assembly seat.

The inquiry has been ordered on the basis of a complaint received from Congress election agent Lalit Buragohain alleging distribution of cash at Gogamukh on April 4 and at Nemutengani on April 5.

“The report will be submitted to me within 24 hours,” Dhemaji returning officer Roshni Aparanji Korati told PTI.

When asked if any action will be taken against the BJP legislator, Korati said it will depend on the probe report.

Since yesterday, local TV news channels have been showing Hazarika with cash in hand asking reporters to switch off their cameras.

“Congress is now a cow which does not give milk. No point searching for such a cow. So, I request you to caste your vote in favour of lotus and BJP. Now I want to give something to the village people,” he was shown saying in private TV news telecasts.

Thereafter the newschannels showed people displaying currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100 reportedly received from Hazarika, who was in Dhemaji to campaign for party candidate Ranuj Pegu.

When contacted, Hazarika said “No money was distributed by me. I have not given money. I have not seen the reports and the complaint. I have not given anything.”

Opposition Congress today filed another complaint to the Chief Electoral Officer of Assam requesting strict action against the BJP MLA and forwarded a copy to the Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Polling in Dhemaji will take place on April 9, while counting of votes will be on April 13.

The byelection is being held following the election of earlier BJP MLA Pradan Baruah as MP from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat.