Chhattisgarh police set up team to probe alleged ‘fixing’ in 2014 Antagarh bypoll under BJP regime

The Chhattisgarh Police have set up a four-member team to probe the alleged fixing of Antagarh Assembly bypoll held in 2014 during the previous BJP regime in the state on Monday

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI


The Chhattisgarh Police have set up a four-member team to probe the alleged fixing of Antagarh Assembly bypoll held in 2014 during the previous BJP regime in the state, a senior official said on Monday.

The team has been constituted under the supervision of Inspector General (IG) of Police, Raipur Range, the official added.

"Complaints pertaining to 'Antagarh tape row' related to withdrawal of Congress candidate during the by-election held for Antagarh Assembly constituency in 2014 were pending for investigation in Raipur and Kanker districts," said an order issued by state Director General of Police (DGP) D M Awasthi.

The probe team comprises Raipur Superintendent of Police Neethu Kamal, Raipur Deputy Superintendent of Police Abhishek Maheshwari, Raipur's Telibandha police station house officer Inspector Naresh Patel and Cyber Cell, Police Headquarters, Sub-Inspector Raipur Vikram Dhruv, it said.

They will investigate the aforesaid complaints under the supervision of IG, Raipur Range, the order said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, accused the Congress of hatching a conspiracy to prove its "baseless allegations" against the previous saffron party-led government and its leaders, after coming to power.

"The internal factionalism within the Congress was exposed after the CD row following which the party was split. The BJP was being dragged into the issue only due to political malice," said BJP state spokesman Sachchidanand Upasane.

The Congress government has been setting up Special Investigation Teams (SIT) in various incidents that happened during the previous government.

"This is nothing but just a conspiracy," Upasane claimed.

Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) leader and former MLA Amit Jogi demanded a time-bound investigation into the matter.

"I had earlier sought a CBI probe into the CD row. Now I demand that the entire episode be probed by an SIT or any independent agency under the monitoring of a sitting judge of High Court," he said in a statement.

In 2015-16, a CD audio tape was leaked which had purported conversations suggesting exchange of money to make Manturam Pawar, the Congress candidate in the 2014 Antagarh Assembly (Kanker district) bypoll, withdraw at the last minute to facilitate the BJP nominee's victory.

The tape had triggered a huge political storm in the state.

The Antagarh bypoll was won by BJP's Bhojraj Nag.

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

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

The tape contained several phone conversations purportedly between Ajit Jogi, his son Amit Jogi 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.

The Chhattisgarh Congress led by state president Bhupesh Baghel had then expelled Amit Jogi from the party and also passed a resolution seeking party high command's nod for the termination of his membership.

However, the then BJP chief Minister Raman Singh as well as both Amit Jogi and Ajit Jogi had rejected allegations of their involvement in the episode.

Later, Ajit Jogi quit the Congress and floated his own outfit Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J).

Pawar joined the BJP in March 2015.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines