Congress demands Raman Singh’s resignation

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 30, 2015

Ajit Jogi

Raman Singh

Party issues show-cause notice to Ajit Jogi over alleged inducements to Congress candidate to withdraw from by-poll

A media exposé involving both Congress and BJP bigwigs in Chhattisgarh in inducements offered to a candidate in an assembly by-election last year has triggered demands for Chief Minister Raman Singh’s resignation. The Congress is also asking for a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe into the matter.

The Congress claims the exposé only confirms what it had alleged in a complaint to the Election Commission in September 2014, that the ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh used “money, muscle, administration and police” to get six independent and one Congress nominee to withdraw their candidature from by-elections for the Antagarh assembly constituency.

However, taped conversations reproduced by an English daily on Wednesday showed that Congress leader Ajit Jogi and his son Amit Jogi too were involvedin party candidate Manturam Pawar withdrawing from the by-poll.

Amounts discussed

The purported conversations between Amit Jogi and Raman Singh’s son-in-law Puneet Gupta show how different amounts were being discussed as inducement for Pawar to withdraw from the race.

The Congress, while issuing a show-cause notice to Amit Jogi and ordering a probe on Ajit Jogi’s role, still maintained that the beneficiary of the scam was the BJP, which offered money to all the six candidates in Antagarh in order to win the by-election.

AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad said the conversations only prove what the Congress had maintained in its complaint to the EC, and that the Chief Minister should resign.

Raman Singh, however, maintained that the BJP had nothing to do with the scam. “It is an internal matter of the Congress. The BJP has nothing to do with it,” he said.

Hariparsad said the Pradeshi Congress Committee has issued a show-cause notice to Amit Jogi and asked him to explain the matter in seven days.

“As far as Ajit Jogi is concerned, he is a Congress Working Committee member and only the Congress president can take action against him. After going through the report of the State unit into this matter, the AICC disciplinary committee headed by AK Antony will take a call on action about Ajit Jogi,” he said.

The Congress’s communications department chief Randeep Singh Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should remove Raman Singh for corrupting the electoral process.

“The Congress had earlier maintained that the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister made the Congress candidate withdraw his nomination by offering inducements. The tapes now prima facie prove the allegation. Keeping in view his tall promises of not allowing corruption at any cost, the PM should immediately sack, dismiss or force Raman Singh to resign. The matter should be probed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court,” Surjewala said.

Probe into conduct

He said since the names of Congress leaders have also surfaced in the tape, their conduct should also be probed.

“Examine the role of all by including that of Ajit Jogi or any other Congress leader’s conduct. Since the Chief Minister holds a top Constitutional post in the State, he should immediately be asked to ensure a fair probe…The Congress also assures that it will take appropriate action against its leaders after the probe finds anything against them. The Congress stands committed to take action on the basis of the outcome of the probe,” Surjewala said.

Published on December 30, 2015
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