The BJP, which is already facing flak following a controversy surrounding former IPL chief Lalit Modi, came under attack again on Friday after an alleged audio tape of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan surfaced. In the audio tape, Chouhan is purportedly heard asking for favours from another local BJP leader following the assembly by-poll.
On Thursday, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had released an audio tape accusing Chouhan of seeking favours from BJP leader
Rajesh Choudhary in lieu of a better post following the Garoth by-poll, scheduled to be held on Saturday.
In the audio tape, which was released on Twitter and Facebook by Singh, Chouhan is allegedly heard asking Choudhary to support the party's candidate for the by-poll in Mandsaur district. Chouhan is heard promising in the phone conversation to "take good care" of Choudhary if he supports the party's candidate for the by-poll even though he was passed over for the seat.
"I will take care of you, but just make sure that we win," says the voice reportedly to be that of the chief minister in the three-minute clip of a phone conversation.
Chouhan is heard telling the party leader that he did deserve to be the candidate, but still asks him to contest as if it were his own election. He promises that after the election, the leader will be honoured.
"I will make sure you are in a better situation than now. Do not spare any effort to win in the next three days," Chouhan is heard saying.
Choudhary is then heard assuring him that he will put all his strength and won't spare any effort.
While the Congress has filed a complaint against Chouhan with the state election commission over the audio tape, Singh demanded the chief minister's resignation over the matter accusing him of violating the model code of conduct.
"This is highly condemnable, the Election Commission (EC) must take note of this," said Congress leader Manak Agarwal.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, was swift to deny the allegations and accused the Congress of fabricating stories to tarnish the party's image.
"It is a non-issue, just a part of Digvijaya Singh ji's dirty politics. The Congress makes efforts to malign the image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan before every election," said BJP leader Vishwas Sarang.
Another BJP leader Deepak Vijayvargiya said, "Congress is propagating fabricated things which have no basis. They are trying to tarnish BJP'a image."
The ruling party is already in trouble after some of its prominent faces including external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani and Maharashtra minister Pankaja Mude are in the news for wrong reasons.
While Swaraj and Raje have been accused allegedly helping the controversial former cricket commissioner, Munde is said to be involved in a Rs 206 crore 'chikki scam'. On the other hand, Irani's education qualification is in question.
(With ANI inputs)