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BJP comes up with tape on Ajit Jogi

BJP comes up with tape on Ajit Jogi

Author: PTI
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: December 6, 2003
URL: http://in.rediff.com/news/2003/dec/06chhat.htm

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday night alleged that outgoing Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi tried to break up the party by bribing its MLAs.

Union Law Minister and the BJP's senior leader Arun Jaitley played an audio tape before mediapersons in Raipur at around 2300 IST in which two persons are discussing plans to prevent the BJP from forming a government in the state.

One person, allegedly Jogi, is heard telling the other person that the Congress would prop up a government led by a senior BJP leader, Baliram Kashyap. They two persons struck a deal over the amount of money to change hands.

Jaitley said one of the voices belonged to Jogi and the other to BJP MLA Virendra Pandey. He clarified that the latter had taken part in the episode only to trap Jogi and showed the money that Jogi had allegedly offered to Pandey.

He said the BJP had 'water-tight' documentary, material and taped evidence against Jogi, his son and Congress MP P R Kunte for allegedly trying to bribe BJP MLAs to effect a split in the BJP's legislature party and prevent formation of a BJP government in the state.

Jaitley said both Jogi and Kunte were public servants and a case of corruption for defection had been clearly made out by the available evidence. He said the tape recording was clear and the person trying to offer money to the MLAs was 'unabashedly' offering the bribe.

Jaitley said they had handed over a copy of the tape to the governor. Jaitley said this was a clear case of attempt to break a political party and prevent formation of a government.

There was also a hand written letter by Jogi, he claimed.

Jaitley alleged the entire conspiracy had been hatched at the instance of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. "Her name is being used," he said.

A stash of notes said to be amounting to Rs 45lakh offered by Jogi to engineer defections was displayed at the press conference.

Since the outgoing government was still in office till Sunday morning, the party would hand over the original documents, the tape and other evidence to the police for investigation only after the new dispensation takes over.

Jaitley said the new government will ask the CBI to investigate the matter and the original tape of the conversation will be handed over to the investigating agency. The money will be handed over to the police on Sunday, he said.

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