The man who leads the Congress in Madhya Pradesh is too 'invested' in business dealings with supporters of BJP - a party he has to take on in the assembly polls later this year.
Pradesh Congress president Kantilal Bhuria's son Vikrant has business dealings with Bhuria's personal secretary Praveen Kakkar, who has business relationships with traders, property-dealers and liquor barons deemed close to BJP.
Documents in possession of HT show Kakkar's wife Sadhana and son Salil are directors in companies which grew plump during the BJP regime. Union ministry of corporate affairs documents show that Bhuria's son Vikrant and Salil are co-directors in Panco Enterprises, a fertiliser company.
Sadhana Kakkar is a director at the Indore-based Sharad Builders Pvt Ltd, whose other directors include BJP workers Sharad Kale and Krishan Kant Goyal. The two are close to minister Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Salil has stakes in liquor companies based in Indore. He is the director of Malwa Brew & Alcohols (India) - which got a licence for setting up a distillery under the BJP regime - and an additional director at Pinnacle Breweries and Distilleries, India. In both firms, the other director is Harminder Singh Bhatia, a liquor baron who helped Vijayvargiya and BJP MLA Ramesh Mendola in the last assembly polls.
Bhuria has been under attack from within the party for being soft towards the BJP. In April 2012, former state Congress spokesperson KK Mishra had written to a party panel detailing Bhuria and Kakkar's business relations with BJP sympathisers.
"In such circumstances Bhuria can't have the moral authority to take on the BJP in the run-up to the assembly elections," said a Congress leader.
Bhuria said those leveling the charges were "blackmailers". "All charges are fabricated. They have been launching propaganda against me for three years, but nothing has been proved," he said. Kakkar denied having business relations with any politician. "I am ready to face any inquiry," he said. Vijayvargiya could not be reached for comment.