Four trucks worth Rs 2 crore have driven Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan into trouble. Chouhan’s wife had purchased them last year and sold them to cement manufacturer JP Associates, Rewa this July. The vehicles were registered to Sadhna Singh w/o SR Singh, JP Nagar, Rewa.
Disclosure of the deal has fired up the Congress and embarrassed the BJP. The Congress is demanding a CBI probe into the deal and the source of funds to purchase the vehicles.
Chouhan defended deal saying, “It is not a sin for a chief minister’s kin to do business”. But a delighted opposition is not letting him off so easily. State Congress president Subhash Yadav submitted a memorandum to Governor Dr Balram Jakhar on Sunday for a CBI probe into the CM’s assets. The Income Tax department is looking into the I-T returns of the Singh couple, confirmed Chief Income Tax Commissioner MK Moghe. And the Congress is also planning to go to the Lokayukta.
Nobody knew about the purchase until former union Minister Prahlad Patel made his letter to the chief minister public on August 1. Formerly with the BJP, Patel left the party with his mentor Uma Bharti when she was expelled from the BJP.
Patel asked the CM if his wife had purchased the four vehicles and gave him a week to reply. Chouhan kept mum but the row snowballed with the Congress too joining in. Four days ago, the Hindi Outlook magazine hit the stands with the CM’s admission that his wife did purchase the vehicles and sold them to the JP Associates. He justified the address in the registration at far-off Rewa instead of Bhopal or native Vidisha, saying this was done for the business convenience.
Prahlad Patel told HT he was vindicated now that the chief minister had confirmed his doubts.