Quit Politics Over 2014 Bypoll Fixing: Congress To Ajit Jogi, Raman Singh

On Saturday, Manturam Pawar, who had withdrawn from the electoral fray as the Congress candidate at the last moment, alleged the bypoll was fixed by Raman Singh and the Jogis.

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Quit Politics Over 2014 Bypoll Fixing: Congress To Ajit Jogi, Raman Singh

Ajit Jogi quit the Congress and floated his own outfit (File Photo)


Raipur, Chhattisgarh: 

The Chhattisgarh Congress on Sunday demanded that former chief ministers Raman Singh and Ajit Jogi quit politics on "moral grounds" owing to allegations of fixing the 2014 Antagarh Assembly bypoll against them.

The ruling party also demanded similar action from former BJP minister Rajesh Munat and Ajit Jogi's son and former MLA Amit Jogi.

On Saturday, Manturam Pawar, who had withdrawn from the electoral fray as the Congress candidate at the last moment, alleged the bypoll was fixed by Raman Singh and the Jogis.

In a statement recorded before a local court under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Mr Pawar had claimed that he was offered inducements and pressurised in withdrawing from the contest, which facilitated the victory of BJP nominee Bhojraj Nag.

"The statement of Pawar has confirmed that Singh, Munat and the Jogi father-son duo had allegedly hatched a conspiracy to fix Antagarh bypoll," said Shailesh Nitin Trivedi, general secretary, Chhattisgarh Congress.

Addressing a press conference, he said these politicians have not only insulted democracy but also "murdered" it.

"We don't expect morality from these four leaders but despite that we demand from them that they quit politics by accepting moral responsibility for fixing the bypoll," he added.

Mr Trivedi also sought probe into the role of mediators and the then officials in the alleged scandal.

As per Pawar's affidavit before the court, on August 28, 2014 (ahead of the by-poll), Menon and Siddiqui met him and said he should talk to Ajit Jogi as Ajit Jogi, Amit Jogi and Raman Singh had decided that he would withdraw his nomination for Rs 7 crore.

Pawar had claimed that the deal was fixed at the bungalow of the then PWD minister Rajesh Munat in Raipur but he did not take a single penny.

Raman Singh had refuted the allegations, calling it the Congress government's "badla-pur" (vendetta) politics.

After coming to power last year, the Congress government set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the alleged episode.

In February this year, an FIR was lodged against Ajit Jogi, Amit Jogi, Raman Singh's son-in-law Dr Puneet Gupta, Mr Munat and Mr Pawar at Pandri police station based on a complaint lodged by Congress leader Kiranmayee Nayak.

Mr Pawar was later expelled from the Congress. An audio tape surfaced later, suggesting he pulled out at the behest of the BJP, and it was facilitated by Ajit Jogi and his son. The Jogi father-son duo denied the allegations.

Later, Ajit Jogi quit the Congress and floated his own outfit, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J). Mr Pawar joined the BJP in March 2015.



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