The BJP is on the defensive in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh after a video that seems to show Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar‘s son negotiating a ‘deal’ worth Rs 500 crore surfaced Monday.
This is the second video this month; last week a video seemed to show Devendra Singh Tomar – whose father is among the big-names fielded by the BJP for Friday’s election – discussing three separate deals – worth Rs 18 crore, Rs 21 crore, and Rs 100 crore.
Asked about the video, Mr Tomar told reporters in Gwalior, “We should not waste time on fake talks”. His party also dismissed the videos, which have been heavily criticised by the Congress.
The BJP’s state boss, VD Sharma, has called the video “fake’ and accused the opposition party, lacking any real issue to raise, of releasing the clips to unsettle voters ahead of polling this week.
“A complaint has been made and the video is being investigated. Elections cannot be won with these tactics. The Congress itself is deeply immersed in corruption…” Mr Sharma declared. He claimed that Rs 281 crore had been seized by officials after the 15 months that the Congress was in power.
Mr Tomar’s son has also called the video a fake and has registered a police case.
The Congress – battling corruption allegations of its own in Chhattisgarh, another poll-bound state – has demanded a suo motu probe by the Enforcement Directorate, and called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to “break their silence” in this issue.
Showing reporters the second video, party spokesperson Ragini Nayak declared the BJP’s state government had “become synonymous with 50 per cent commission”; this is similar to the “40 per cent Sarkar” corruption jibe the party threw at the BJP in Karnataka ahead of the election in May.
The Congress routed the BJP in the southern state, winning 135 of its 224 seats.
“Give a clarification (about the Devendra Singh Tomar video) or dismiss it. If they (the BJP) don’t, then it will be construed that this has their patronage and involvement,” Ms Nayak declared.
“If the video is fake… it must be found out who is defaming the Union Minister’s son.”
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has also pounced on the Tomar videos.
“The BJP has broken all records of corruption. They have a minister… his name is Tomar and this video is of his son. He is saying Rs 10 crore will go here, Rs 20 crore there, 100 crore… Whose money is he talking about? It is the people’s money,” Mr Gandhi said at a rally in state capital Bhopal
He also declared Madhya Pradesh had become India’s “corruption capital” under BJP rule.
The Congress leader underlined the party’s call to investigate the videos. “… Tomar’s son, who is stealing money of farmers, the poor and labourers without hiding it, without fear and openly on a video call. Has Modiji taken any action? Has ED, CBI, IT department taken action,” he asked.
With input from agencies
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