Bhopal/New Delhi: The Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission (EC) demanding action against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for allegedly inducing a local BJP leader to muster support for Saturday’s by-poll in Garoth assembly constituency after promising him favours.
An audio tape containing a purported conversation between the Chief Minister and local BJP leader Rajendra Choudhary has gone viral on various social websites.
In the tape, given to the EC by the Congress, Chouhan is heard asking BJP leader Rajendra Choudhary to support the party’s nominee for the Garoth assembly by-poll in Mandsaur district. He is also heard offering Choudhary a position in the government in return for the task.
“We must not lose. Everybody’s prestige, including yours and mine, would go down … I would make you. I know you were also equally eligible (to get the ticket for the seat). After election, I will look after your interests,” the chief minister is heard telling Choudhary.
The chief minister is also heard as saying that he knew about the local leader’s aspiration to contest the election for the seat for which he could not secure the official nod.
The BJP, however, denied the allegations, saying the audio tape was just part of Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh’s dirty politics.
“It is a non-issue, just a part of Digvijaya Singh’s dirty politics. Congress makes efforts to malign image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan before every election,” BJP leader Vishwas Sarang told reporters in Bhopal.
Speaking on the issue, Digvijaya Singh said that he would want the EC to send the tape to a forensic lab to get its authenticity checked.
“The BJP has said the tape is fake. I want that the Election Commission should send it to a forensic lab and see whether it is fake. I take full responsibility of this tape if it is found fake,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
“This is how the BJP works. Accusations against them are wrong and against us are right … This shows their mentality,” he said.
“This is against the electoral code of conduct. We have demanded an Election Commission probe. They have assured us that they will probe the matter,” he said.
A delegation comprising senior leaders Digvijay Singh and Mohan Prakash and Congress legal cell secretary K.C. Mittal met the Election Commission on Friday afternoon.
Congress candidate Subhash Sojatia also filed a complaint on Friday at Bhanpur police station of Mandsaur district after the audio clip went viral on social media.
Mandsaur SP Manoj Sharma told IANS that the complaint has been forwarded to the Election Commission.
Chouhan has addressed many public meetings in support of party candidate Chandar Singh Sisodia. (IANS)