GAYA: Praveen Manjhi, the jobless and somewhat controversial younger son of HAM(S) leader and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, was on Sunday caught with Rs 4.65 lakhs in cash from the Makhdumpur police station area of Jahanabad district.
Confirming Manjhi’s detention, Magadh Range DIG Ratn Sanjay said that senior police officials would be quizzing Praveen on several important points related to the recovery. Manjhi, according to the DIG claimed to have borrowed the money from his immediate family members in Gaya and intended to use the same for house construction purpose.
During routine checking of vehicles, the police intercepted a car at Gaya-Jehanabad check post near Umta village and seized Rs 4.65 lakh in cash from Manjhi’s son Praveen Kumar who was on his way to Patna from Gaya, Sub-Divisional Police Officer Md. Ashfaq Ansari said.
Manjhi’s party Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) has accused the ruling JD(U) government of giving trouble to the Manjhi family. “The Election Commission should investigate that Manjhi’s family is being troubled by the government,” said Danish Rizwan, HAM spokesperson.
“He was carrying cash because payment had to be made to a contractor as some construction is going on at his residence,” Rizwan added.
Manjhi, the former chief minister, who is also the president of HAM, is in New Delhi for seat-sharing talks with BJP.
This is for the second time that the ex CM’s younger of the two sons has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Earlier, during Jitan Ram Manjhi’s initial days in office, Praveen was in the news for alleged fun making in a Bodh Gaya hotel with a woman constable of the BMP as companion. The then CM defended his son on the ground that there was nothing wrong in a friendship between two adults belonging to opposite sex.
According to sources, Praveen Manjhi was likely to be released on bail, as carrying cash in violation of the Model code of conduct was a bailable offence. However, in the absence of satisfactory explanation of the source of money and its intended use, the money would be seized.
The EC has imposed restriction on carrying cash and people carrying more than Rs 50,000 in cash have to convince civil and income tax officials about the source of income and other relevant details.
EC has imposed restriction to prevent or minimize the role of money in the crucial assembly election.
This is for the first time that a VVIP son was caught with so much hard cash. Unlike his elder brother, Praveen has so far not displayed any political ambitions. Manjhi’s elder son Santosh Manjhi was in the BJP and he deserted the saffron party to be elevated to the second most important slot in the HAM(S) hierarchy, that of the national general secretary of the just born regional outfit.