Warrants being issued against opposition MLAs: Congress

Ranchi:The BJP government in Jharkhand is getting arrest warrants issued against opposition legislators to prevent them from voting in the Rajya Sabha elections, the Congress said on Saturday. The Raghubar Das government "is trying to strangle democracy by issuing warrants against legislators who have a right to vote", Congress spokesman Ajay Kumar told reporters here.  "This is done at the instruction of the central government," he said. There was much commotion on Friday night at Medica Hospital here where Chamra Linda, a legislator from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), is being treated.  The police reached the hospital with a warrant to arrest Linda in a case going back to 2013. The Congress and JMM leaders gathered at the hospital to oppose the arrest.  Warrants have also been issued against two Congress legislators, Nirmala Devi and Devendra Singh.  The police visited on Friday Devendra Singh's home in Palamau district but could not find him there.  Informed sources said both Devendra Singh and Nirmala Devi have gone "underground" but may turn up for voting.  Police personnel have been deployed outside the assembly to arrest them.  Voting for the Rajya Sabha began at 9 a.m.  Election Commission sources said 45 National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and 25 opposition legislators had voted till 11.45 a.m.  The NDA in Jharkhand comprises the BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). There are three candidates in the elections for two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand, making it a bitter fight.  The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded central minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and industrialist Mahesh Poddar while the JMM has put up Basant Soren, son of party chief Shibu Soren.