On the eve of voting for a byelection in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of violating the code of conduct by promising a better post to a BJP leader if he worked hard to get votes of his community.
In an audio tape released by the Opposition party, Chouhan is heard telling BJP leader Rajesh Chaudhary, a former panchayat president, that he had heard murmurs that he was not putting in his best but if he worked hard in the last phase of the campaign he would be suitably rewarded after the election.
The BJP has claimed that the tape is fake, and called it a Congress conspiracy to malign the image of Chouhan who they can’t defeat electorally.
Chaudhary was an aspirant for Saturday’s by-election to Garoth constituency in Mandsaur district but was denied the ticket by the BJP. In the phone conservation, the CM admits that the party’s position in the by-election is not good and requests Chaudhary to campaign in the last three days, especially among Porwal community, to ensure his and BJP’s image is not sullied due a loss.
AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh who was the first to release the audio tape on his Twitter account, said if the tape was fake the BJP should proceed against him.
In Bhopal, the PCC sought Chouhan’s resignation for violating the code of conduct by seeking votes on caste lines and promising better prospects in return. Chouhan himself has not reacted to the controversy.
At the Congress headquarters, general secretary Digvijaya Singh played out the audio clip during a press conference. He said the BJP has called the audio clip fake. “We would like the Election Commission to send the audio tape to any forensic lab and match it with Chouhan’s voice samples. If the tape is proven to be fake, I will take full responsibility,” Singh said.