On action against RSS appointments, Baghel says ‘we will do it slowly’
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has initiated more than a dozen probes in cases such as the PDS scam, Jhiram Ghati attack, DPR Scam and others in the last one month.Updated: Jan 24, 2019 17:13 IST
One month after forming the government, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel believes that former CM Raman Singh could be behind bars in the PDS scam. Baghel claims that people have the right to know who is ‘CM sir’ and ‘CM Madam’ in the PDS scam.
Baghel has initiated more than a dozen probes in cases such as the PDS scam, Jhiram Ghati attack, DPR Scam and others in the last one month.
Speaking about controversial IG SRP Kalluri’s appointment, Baghel said Kalluri was Raman Singh’s favourite, and hence he decided to give the probes to Kalluri in which Raman Singh is under the scanner.
Excerpts from the interview:
Question: The political environment of Chhattisgarh changed in the last one month and everyone in the state is now talking about Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru instead of Syama Prasad Mukherjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. How is the present government working for political change in the state?
Answer: The Congress always had a strong presence in Chhattisgarh ever since the state was formed in 2000. The Congress lost three elections but the winning margin was very small. But the BJP lost this election with a very huge margin. They were almost washed out by the people of the state. Congress never got as little as 15 seats in any of the three assembly elections. The Congress has been in the veins of Chhattisgarh from the very beginning. Our government is just a reflection of the people and the political environment of the state.
Question: From the very beginning, the Congress has said that if it comes to power it will send Raman Singh to jail. In the last one month, a probe has been initiated against Raman Singh in the PDS scam. Has your government got any evidence till now?
Answer: We just began the probe in PDS scam and now they have started crying foul. The names of 18 officers are mentioned in the diary which is an important evidence of the scam. The people have the right to know who are the people addressed in the diary as ‘CM sir’, ‘CM Madam’ and Aishvarya Residency. We have only taken the court’s permission to re-open the case and now Raman Singh is worried.
Question: There are many institutions where political appointments have been made in the last 15 years. Many RSS functionaries were appointed to some important educational and other institutions of the state. What is your plan of action for these political appointments?
Answer: This is an important issue and we will redress it. Several political appointments were made in the state under the BJP rule which is a serious concern for our government.
Question: You are known for your fight against the ideological spread of RSS in the state but after forming the government you have not taken any action against the ideological spread or appointments of RSS... Why?
Answer: We have defeated RSS and its ideology in the elections and we have won with a huge margin. Ab araam se karenge... humein hadbadi nahi hai (We will do it slowly... We are not in a hurry).
Question: During your recent Bastar visit, you said the government will not talk with Maoists. Why don’t you want to talk to the Maoists, when they are also a party in conflict area along the victims?
Answer: Till now every government either wanted to fight the Maoists or talk with them. But nothing happened. Raman Singh also said that his government wants to talk with the Maoists. I believe that those people who are victims of Maoist violence should be engaged in the conversation which was never been done in the past.
Question: Has your government chalked out a model of conversation with the victims of Bastar?
Answer: We will go to them now. We will talk to everyone who is living in Bastar. We will talk to the tribals, non-tribals, security forces and journalists of the region. First we will talk to them. I personally believe that the victims of Maoist violence will understand the problem better than me. It could be possible that they may have a solution to the Maoist problem.
Question: You are saying that you will speak to the journalists of the region and then come to any conclusion. But recently, an important face of Bastar journalism, Kamal Shukla, sat on a dharna against your government for giving a key post to controversial IG SRP Kalluri. Human rights activists in the country are criticising your decision to give a plum post to Kalluri. When he was Bastar IG, you yourself fought a long battle against him. But now you are giving him an important probe of the state? What is going on?
Answer: See, who was behind Kalluri? Raman Singh. An officer can do things only when the government wants him to do. Kalluri has violated laws in Bastar and I myself opposed and fought against him. Kalluri spoke against me in Raman Singh’s government, which means he was Raman Singh’s favourite, hence I decided to give the probes to Kalluri in which Raman Singh is now under the scanner. I have not given Kalluri any field posting, he has been appointed as IG Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). I want to tell human rights defenders that under any government, a police officer has to discharge his duty, so we are utilising him (Kalluri) to discharge his duties.