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Did Former CM Raman Singh’s Son-in-Law Fix 2014 Antagarh Assembly Bypoll? A Criminal Conspiracy Case Has Been Filed Against Him

An FIR was also lodged against MLA Ajit Jogi, his son Amit, former BJP minister Rajesh Munat and Manturam Pawar.

Raipur, Feb 4 (PTI) A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy was registered against five persons, including former chief minister Ajit Jogi and former chief minister Raman Singh‘s son-in-law, in connection with the alleged fixing of 2014 Antagarh Assembly bypoll.

An FIR was lodged late Sunday night at Pandri police station against Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) founder and MLA Ajit Jogi, his son Amit, former BJP minister Rajesh Munat, former chief minister Raman Singh’s son-in-law Puneet Gupta and Manturam Pawar, a senior official said.

Pawar was the Congress candidate for the 2014 Antagarh bypoll who withdrew from the fray at the last moment.

The official informed that the case was taken on the basis of a complaint by Congress leader and former Raipur Mayor Kiranmayee Nayak.

The five persons have been booked under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) 420 (cheating), 171 E (punishment for bribery), 171 F (undue influence or personation at an election), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 9 and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act, he added.

“Nayak, in her complaint, alleged that Pawar, who was nominated as Congress candidate in the 2014 Antagarh bypoll, withdrew from the fray after receiving a bribe,” the official said.

“Jogi, his son Amit, Munat and Gupta had lured him by offering money. The election was influenced by bribing Pawar,” the official said quoting the complaint.

The allegations have been refuted by former chief minister Jogi who called them “baseless” and “fabricated”.

“The allegations are baseless and fabricated. Pawar was given a ticket by Congress state chief Bhupesh Baghel.

Only Pawar knows why he withdrew from the fray. I was not in touch with him from a long time,” Jogi said.

Pawar, on his part, has accused the state government of vendetta.

“The state government has been acting with the intention to extract revenge. Earlier, a team was constituted to probe the issue and now an FIR has been lodged by a Congress leader,” Pawar said.

“A tribal is being mentally and socially victimised by Congress party and the government,” he alleged.

In 2015-16, an audio clip was leaked which had purported conversations suggesting exchange of money to get Pawar to withdraw at the last minute in favour of BJP nominee Bhojraj Nag, who went on to win the poll.

The audio tape suggested that Pawar’s withdrawal was at the behest of the BJP and was facilitated by former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

The clip contains several phone conversations, purportedly between Ajit Jogi, his son Amit and then Chief Minister Raman Singh’s son-in-law Puneet Gupta, Pawar and former Jogi loyalists Firoz Siddiqui and Ameen Memon, to “fix” the bypoll.

Pawar, who pulled out a day before the last date for withdrawal, was later expelled from Congress as was Jogi.

Jogi went on to form the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) while Pawar joined the BJP in March, 2015.

The Chhattisgarh Police had last month set up a special team to probe the Antagarh Assembly bypoll “fixing” case.

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