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Antagarh bypoll: Chhattisgarh Congress expels Amit Jogi

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi/Raipur | Updated on January 19, 2018

Amit Jogi

Ajit Jogi’s son charged with ‘fixing’ the poll

The Congress has expelled Amit Jogi, an MLA from Chhattisgarh and son of veteran leader Ajit Jogi, from the primary membership of the party for six years.

The Chhattisgarh PCC passed a resolution seeking party High Command’s nod also for termination of the membership of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, over the Antagarh assembly by-poll audio tape row.

“Amit Jogi, Congress MLA from Marwahi constituency, has been expelled from primary membership of the party for six years. Besides, a resolution has been passed by the State unit to terminate Ajit Jogi from the party,” State Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel told reporters after a meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee, which also adopted a resolution “condemning” the tape controversy.

The audio tape released by an English daily contained several phone conversations purportedly between Ajit Jogi, his son Amit and Chief Minister Raman Singh’s son-in-law Puneet Gupta, Congress candidate Manturam Pawar and former Jogi loyalists Firoz Siddiqui and Ameen Memon, to “fix” the Antagarh by-poll held in 2014.

The leaked tape, which has conversations suggesting exchange of money to make Pawar, Congress candidate for the seat, withdraw at the last minute to facilitate the BJP nominee’s victory, had triggered a huge political storm in Chhattisgarh with Baghel serving a show cause notice to Amit Jogi last month, seeking his reply within seven days.

BJP chief Minister Raman Singh as well as both Amit and Ajit Jogi have rejected allegations of their involvement in the sordid episode.

The Congress challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against Chief Minister Raman Singh. “The Chhattisgarh issue revolves around monetary allurement offered by BJP’s Chief Minister Raman Singh to the Congress candidate for withdrawing from his candidature,” said Chief Spokesperson Randip Singh Surjewala.

“Modiji’s solemn promise to people was ‘zero tolerance to corruption’. The Congress Party has taken action against one of its leaders. Will Modiji now show the courage of his conviction by seeking Raman Singh’s resignation or sacking him?” Surjweala said in a statement. “Therein lies the test of truth of promise made by Modiji to people,” he added.

Meanwhile, Amit Jogi has said he will appeal to the party high command against the decision of the State unit. “I will appeal to the party high command in Delhi against the decision (of expulsion), and I believe I will get justice from AICC President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

Published on January 06, 2016

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