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Congress’ Jogi tapes put Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh in a spot

The Congress issued a showcause notice to the chief minister for the alleged bribing of a Congress candidate by Singh’s son-in-law to withdraw from the bypoll elections

india Updated: Dec 31, 2015 09:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Raman Singh,Chhattisgarh,Jogi
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has been cornered by Congress an alleged ‘arrangement’ by his relative Puneet Gupta with Amit Jogi, son of former CM Ajit Jogi.(HT File Photo)

Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has landed in a controversy following allegations that his son-in-law financially induced a Congress candidate to withdraw from an assembly bypoll in September 2014.

The Congress on Wednesday issued a showcause notice to Amit Jogi, the son of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, for allegedly being hand in gloves with Singh’s relative Puneet Gupta.

Also, it demanded the chief minister’s resignation and a probe by a Supreme Court judge into audio tapes that purportedly reveal a nexus between Congress leaders and Gupta.

The tape has conversations between Amit Jogi, Gupta, bypoll candidate Manturam Pawar and former Jogi loyalists Firoz Siddiqui and Ameen Memon.

State Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said in Raipur that the matter would be discussed with Ajit Jogi before a “complete report” is sent to the party high command. Siddiqui and Memon will also be questioned.

Congress had expelled Pawar for pulling out of the Antagarh bypoll and complained to the election commission about a bribe being paid for his withdrawal from the election race.

Read | EC calls for probe into Chhattisgarh tape row

“The tapes prima facie prove the allegation. Keeping in view his tall promises of not allowing corruption at any cost, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately sack, dismiss or force Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh to resign,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

He announced that the party would also inquire into the conduct of leaders whose names surfaced in the tapes.

“The Congress also assures that it will take appropriate action against its leaders if the probe finds anything against them,” Surjewala said.

Party general secretary BK Hariprasad said the leadership has decided to wait for a report from the state unit before deciding on any action against Ajit Jogi “since he is a member of the Congress working committee”.

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”.

First Published: Dec 31, 2015 09:29 IST