Ajit Jogi claimed there is a conspiracy to defame him and his son.
Raipur: The Chhattisgarh Congress is a house divided, with former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi saying he will file a defamation suit against the state unit chief Bhupesh Baghel after he said allegations of fixing a by-election in the BJP's favour by Congress leaders are true.
Just hours after Mr Baghel, in an exclusive interview to NDTV, said there is truth in the allegations, Mr Jogi said he would sue the state Congress chief. He has written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking clearance.
"There is truth in the tapes. We knew about the by-poll fixing soon after the polls and even complained to the EC (Election Commission) about it and how the BJP was trying (to rig) the elections on the basis of black money. We knew about the involvement of the Congress leaders that now have been named in the tape but were embarrassed to admit it then." The Election Commission has already asked the state chief secretary for a probe and a report by January 7.
Mr Jogi who allegedly features in the tapes that Mr Baghel referred to with his MLA son Amit, said, "I have written to the Congress President seeking permission to prosecute the state president. After I get the permission I will file a defamation suit against him."
The tapes have widened the existing cracks in the Chhattisgarh Congress. Five of the six people whose voices are said to be there on the audio tapes deny the charges. Firoze Siddiqui, once considered close to Mr Jogi, though has admitted to poll fixing and now claims his life is in danger. He told NDTV, "I am not going to back out...The tapes are genuine and it is my voice and (of) all the other five."
Mr Jogi claimed there is conspiracy to defame him and his son. It is also alleged that the tapes have the voice of Chief Minister Raman's Singh son-in-law Dr Puneet Gupta, who allegedly negotiated with the Jogis to make the Congress candidate for the Antagarh bypoll Manturam Pawar back out of the election at the last minute. Mr Singh told NDTV, "BJP has nothing to do with the controversy. No one who has featured in the tape has admitted that it's real."