Antagarh tapes are out of the box once again. And, this time police has registered cases against five persons including former Chhattisgarh Chief Minster and founder of Chhattisgarh Janta Congress Ajit Jogi, his son Amit Jogi, state BJP heavyweight leader and former PWD Minister Rajesh Munat, former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh's son-in-law Dr Punit Gupta and Manturam Pawar.
“The case has been registered on the complaint of Chhattisgarh Congress spokesperson Kiranmayee Nayak with Pandri police station of the city,” Additional Superintendent of Police (City) in Raipur Praful Thakur informed.
Notably, the bypoll for Antagarh seat in Bastar region was held in 2014 wherein Manturam Pawar was declared Congress party candidate. However, Pawar allegedly without informing the state party leadership had withdrawn his name from the fray after which BJP candidate Bhojraj Nag was given a walkover.
The case came into light after an audio recording purportedly having voice of Ajit Jogi, his son Amit Jogi and Dr Punit Gupta involved in horse trading surfaced in the media, following which a political storm erupted in the state.
They have been booked under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 171E (punishment for bribery), 171F (undue influence or personation at an election), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 9 and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, the ASP added.
Meanwhile, Manturam Pawar while taking to media persons has refuted the charges and claimed that he will come clean out of the case and will later on file defamation case against persons trying to tarnish his image.
The state government headed by Bhupesh Baghel has constituted an SIT to look into the case.
Reacting to the case, Amit Jogi termed it as an attempt by the ruling party to kill its political rivals. He alleged that Baghel was misusing administration and police system to achieve this. While expressing confidence over judiciary, he said he will approach the court.
“Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on October 8, 2018 had declared that he will get investigated Antagarh, Munat, Puniya and other stings from sitting judge of the High Court, but after coming into power has he lost faith over judiciary?,” Jogi questioned in a written statement issued on Monday.
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