Ahead of MP assembly by-polls, leaked audio clips of Chouhan, Scindia and ex-minister put BJP in a spot

In one of the audio clips, CM Shivarj Singh Chouhan is allegedly heard saying that the BJP’s central leadership plotted to topple the Congress government in the state

 MP CM Shivarj Singh and  Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo Courtesy: social media)
MP CM Shivarj Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo Courtesy: social media)

Kashif Kakvi

Days after the Madhya Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a political campaign for the upcoming by-polls in 24 Assembly constituencies, a series of audio leaks of speeches and threats allegedly made by its senior leaders has put the party in a spot.

An audio recording of a speech allegedly made by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivarj Singh Chouhan recently went viral. In the 9:28 minutes long clip, Chouhan was reportedly addressing BJP workers of Sanware Assembly constituency in Indore on June 8 when he allegedly said in Hindi, “The Central leadership (of BJP) decided that the (Kamal Nath) government should fall. They (the Kamal Nath government) will ruin and destroy (the state)… Tell me, was it possible to dislodge the government without Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tulsi Bhai? There was no other way.”

The “Tulsi Bhai” referred to in the clip is former Health Minister Tulsi Silawat who joined the BJP along with Jyotiradiya Scindia.

“In the coming bypoll, if Tulsi Silawat doesn’t become MLA again, will I be able to remain CM, will the BJP government survive?” he allegedly said, exhorting BJP workers to overcome their differences and work for Silawat’s victory in the upcoming by-elections in the Sanwer Assembly seat.

Two days later, an audio recording of Scindia’s loyalist and former minister Imarti Devi, who too switched over to the BJP with Scindia, went viral. Talking with a party worker of Dabra constituency, she allegedly threatened a party worker, Dharmendra Baghel, of gouging out his eyes when he said that there is rage among voters against her for switching parties.

While Imarti refuted the claim, the following day, Baghel reported the matter to the police and sought protection.

Meanwhile, two audio clips attributed to BJP leader Jyotiradiya Scindia went viral. In the first audio clip, a former corporator of Ashoknagar, Anita Jain, is heard seeking a ticket from Scindia for the 2018 Assembly elections.

The corporator was heard offering Rs 50 lakh for giving a ticket to her daughter-in-law. During the conversation Anita was heard claiming that she had deposited the amount with one ‘Aggarwal’ as a security. Since the audio went viral, no explanation came either from Anita and or from Scindia.

Referring to the audio, the state Congress has demanded registering of a bribery case against Scindia. In a complaint to Additional Director General of police, leaders demanded a SIT probe into the allegations that money exchanged hands for a ticket during 2018 assembly elections. 

A similar 4.28 minutes long audio clip went viral on Saturday in which a Bhind police officer is heard talking with an unknown man. The audio is related to the posting of a police officer against Congress’ Lahar MLA and ex-minister Dr Govind Singh referring to Scindia.

These audio clips hogged national media attention and created a political turmoil in the state when the state is moving ahead for crucial by-polls for 24 assembly seats.

Reacting to it, the state Congress has alleged that BJP hatched a conspiracy against the grand old party for topping the government.

“I have been maintaining from the very beginning that there was a conspiracy to pull down my duly elected government… The audio has established that the BJP’s Central leadership had conspired to pull down my government even though it enjoyed a majority,” former chief minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath said.

Working president of MP Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Jitu Patwari said his party may move court against the BJP for having plotted to dislodge an elected government following the expose in the purported audio.

Twenty-two Congress MLAs loyal to Scindia had resigned from the Assembly leading to the fall of the Kamal Nath government on March 20, paving the way for Chouhan to return as chief minister for the fourth time. All the 22 ex-Congress MLAs later joined the BJP along with Scindia. Two of them, Tulsi Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput, have been inducted into the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet.

The BJP has vehemently denied any role in the collapse of the Kamal Nath government. Neither the saffron party’s Central leadership nor Chouhan have reacted to the audio clip yet.

But the party’s state spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal not only dismissed the charge that it had a hand in the fall of the Kamal Nath government but also the leaked audio clips. “Infighting in Congress had led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government,” he said, adding that the leaked audios are nothing else but a conspiracy by the Congress to defame the party leaders.

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