Saturday February 24, 2018
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Congress accuses Madhya Pradesh CM of luring voters; BJP denies allegations

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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)

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Saw AAP MLAs Assaulting Chief Secretary, CM’s Advisor Tells Police

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement

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The AAP had denied the charges of assault and said that the Chief Secretary was making allegations at the behest of the BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.

On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.

ALSO READ: The assault on Chief Secretary exposes the double standards of AAP government

Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.

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According to the statement, Jain also saw that the Chief Secretary’s spectacles had fallen to the ground and the Chief Secretary picked them up and left the room. Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.

The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.

Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.

The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.

Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.

The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.

“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.

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Singh said that the whole issue was a conspiracy to “bring down the Delhi government” and to “defame the AAP”. Wikimedia Commons

 

“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.

Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.

“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.

The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.

ALSO READ: Delhi Chief Secretary row: AAP MLA arrested

Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.

The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.

The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)