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Horse trading allegations: CBI seizes RS ballot box

Ranchi: CBI sleuths on Thursday said box which was used in the March 30 countermanded elections to Rajya Sabha in Jharkhand, as part of their investigations into the allegations that certain candidates had tried to reach the Upper House using the money bag.

The CBI sleuths opened and checked the ballot papers for about five hours at the assembly secretariat and then took away the box with them, a senior official with the secretariat said here.

The ballot box was handed over by the assembly officials to the CBI team in the presence of different party representatives like Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric) leader G S Rana, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha`s Suprio Bhattacharya and Congress`s Kesav Mahto Kamlesh.

"The Secretary of the assembly secretariat handed over the ballot box to the CBI team in our presence," Rana told reporters.

To know an MLA`s choice of candidate, the CBI sleuths could investigate the number of an used ballot paper by scratching a layer hiding it and then matching with that of the counterfoil, according to sources in the assembly secretariat.

On Saturday last, CBI had raided the premises of three MLAs, Vishnu Bhaiyya (JMM), K N Tripathy (Congress) and Suresh Paswan (RJD) in connection with the case registered under section 171F (undue influence) and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant).

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