Former chief minister’s son has been accused of fixing an assembly by-election in the state
GN Bureau | January 6, 2016
Congress party today expelled its Chhattisgarh legislator Amit Jogi days after an audio tape allegedly showed he was involved in fixing an assembly by-election in the state. The decision to expel him for six years was taken by the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) today. The PCC has requested the All India Congress Committee to suspend his father and former chief minister Ajit Jogi.
A political storm erupted in the state after the audio tape containing telephonic talks purportedly between Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s son-in-law Puneet Gupta, Ajit, his son Amit and then Ajit loyalists Firoz Siddiqui and Ameen Memon surfaced, alleging their involvement in “fixing” the by-poll to the Antagarh assembly seat.
Congress candidate for Antagarh (ST) seat Manturam Pawar, then considered an Ajit loyalist, had withdrawn from the fray just a day ahead of the last date for withdrawal. The tape allegedly contains conversations suggesting money exchanged hands. Pawar was later expelled from the party.
Amit had termed the recording as “fake” and claimed he was being blackmailed before the tape surfaced. “The audio tape is fake and doctored. A probe should be conducted over the entire row and even narco-analysis test be conducted on all those who are alleged to be conversing on the tape, including me, to unearth the truth,” he had said.
The Congress had issued a show cause notice to Amit for allegedly being hand in gloves with Gupta. It also demanded the chief minister’s resignation and a probe by a supreme court judge into audio tapes.
In July, the Congress sought Singh’s resignation for alleged involvement in a Rs 36,000-crore subsidised rice scandal.
In Delhi, BJP secretary Sidharth Nath Singh clarified that leaders of the party have clarified their position and the central leadership had nothing to add to it. He accused the Congress of targeting chief ministers of BJP-ruled states in “desperation”.
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