Hours after The Indian Express reported that there were purported conversations between a section of the Chhattisgarh Congress leaders and persons close to Chief Minister Raman Singh over the September 2014 Antargarh by-election, the state unit of the Congress has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Raman Singh and sought a SIT probe into the matter. The CM, however, said the allegations were a result of infighting in the Congress.
Bhupesh Baghel, the state Congress chief, said a show-cause notice will be sent to Amit Jogi, the party MLA and son of Ajit Jogi. Amit Jogi was reportedly involved in the conversations.
Baghel added that Ajit Jogi, a former CM of the state, will also be asked to explain his role in the alleged fixing of the by-election.
Baghel alleged that CM Raman Singh is using corrupt means to win power and asked the state governor to dismiss the government.
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But Singh told the Indian Express that the state government and the BJP have nothing to do with the incident.
“The allegations are a result of infighting in the Congress. The Congress candidate who withdrew has clarified that he did so because he was unhappy with the party,” said Singh.
He added that his son-in-law Puneet Gupta, whose voice is purportedly heard in the audio tapes, has nothing to do with politics.
Singh also said that Gupta has nothing to do with politics and the Opposition wants to connect this to his family. He added that the Congress candidate who withdrew has clarified he did so because he was unhappy with the party.
Asked if he would order an investigation repeatedly, the chief minister replied “this is an internal Congress matter”.
The Indian Express today reported purported phone conversations between key players that suggested ensuring the withdrawal of Congress candidate Manturam Pawar in the Antagarh by-election.
The BJP termed the allegations ‘baseless’ and said this is not the first time the party has tasted victory in Antagarh.