Tapes of scandal trap Judeo, Jogi
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Tapes of scandal trap Judeo, Jogi

Daler Mehndi, Dilip Singh Judeo, Ajit Jogi, Amarmani Tripathi, Abdul Karim Telgi - shame had lot of names in this year of scandals.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2004 20:02 IST

(Rosy Mishra)

Chhattisgarh staged what is perhaps the worst audio-visual drama in the history of Indian politics. Damning disclosures about Messer Judeo and Jogi continued to hog headlines for mostof the latter half of 2003.

Cash-on-Camera: It all started with November 16 newspaper report about a clandestine video that showed Union Minister of State for Environment Dilip Singh Judeo accepting bribe. Judeo contradicted the report. He was swiftly joined by party colleagues from the BJP who described the tapes as doctored.

Although Judeo resigned after the Prime Minister's intervention, it seemed to do little harm to BJP's electoral fortunes. The party captured three of the four Congress-ruled states that went to the polls this December, including Chhattisgarh.

The Congress, which had come out strongly against corruption in politics in the wake of the Judeo episode, was soon to be thrown off its moral high horse.

Jogi caught on tape: On December 6, at a press conference in Raipur, a gleeful Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley played an audio tape in which Chhattisgarh's deposed Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, purportedly offered bribe to break up the state BJP.

Congress, while asserting that the tapes were faked, suspended Jogi from the party. His efforts to explain his position to Congress president Sonia Gandhi were reportedly rebuffed. Life in the political wilderness could get harder for Jogi with the CBI likely to summon him and his son Amit for questioning.

However despite the entire fracas, the tainted leaders appear quite unabashed. Judeo still sports his moustache as proudly as ever and has the complete backing of his party. Jogi, though deserted and condemned by Congress stalwarts, remains dauntless as ever and may even have plans to float a new party.

Cash on Camera

Murdered Madhumita: Sex, lies and politics

(Sevashree Mohapatra)

The murder of a young woman in Lucknow had all the elements of a Bollywood potboiler - glamour, sex and politics. Madhumita Shukla, a charming poetess was found shot dead at her Lucknow residence on May 9, 2003.

With Amarmani Tripathi, a minister in Mayawati's cabinet, and his wife Madhumani the prime suspects, the brutal killing rocked the political establishment in the state. And the tale only got murkier as the full extent of Madhumita's shameless exploitation became known.

While Amarmani initially protested his innocence, Madhumita's diary in which she spoke movingly about her frustration and dismay at being used as a sex object, gave lie to his claims. A DNA test on Madhumita's aborted foetus helped drive the nail deeper into Amarmani's coffin.

The case in fact broke open only after the CBI swung into action following mounting pressure from the press and public. The suspected killers have now been arrested and the murder weapon recovered.

But the shameful state of affairs doesn't stop here. Plumbing the depths of degradation in public life, Amarmani recently won praise from none other than new UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to whom he had extended support.

No matter what the outcome of the Madhumita case, the debasement of Indian politics where sex is a major ingredient, seems complete.

First Published: Dec 27, 2003 21:09 IST