Facing a defamation suit for alleging Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s son was named in the ‘Panama Papers’, Congress president Rahul Gandhi clarified on Tuesday he had got “confused”.
“For campaigning, I am touring Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan these days. The ruling BJP has indulged in so many scams and corruption that yesterday I got confused,” Gandhi said here.
“In Panama Paper leak case, Madhya Pradesh chief minister has no role,” Gandhi told a select group of journalists when asked about his comments during a rally in Jhabua district of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday.
The Panama papers refer to 11.5 million leaked documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in 2016 with details of offshore entities set up by a Panama-based law firm. The list included a number of Indian entities and many of them are facing investigations.
Without naming the chief minister or his son, Gandhi had alleged during the rally that the name of the son of ‘mamaji’ had figured in the Panama Papers but no action was taken against him. Chouhan is often referred to as ”mamaji’.
While the chief minister’s son Kartikey Chouhan rejected the allegations on Monday night itself, he has now filed a criminal defamation suit against Gandhi in a Bhopal court, alleging that the Congress leader intentionally made the false allegations to defame his family.
While clarifying his remarks on Panama link, Gandhi alleged the state’s BJP chief minister indeed had a role in scams like Vyapam and e-tendering, among others.
Vyapam scam refers to massive irregularities in state government jobs recruitment and selection in medical courses done by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board.
The main Opposition party has also alleged large-scale corruption through e-tendering in Madhya Pradesh. It has claimed massive irregularities in grant of state government procurement and other works through a website developed by two private IT companies. The ruling party has rejected all these allegations.