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Jogi accuses IB of running a slander campaign

April 01, 2003 23:54 IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi claimed on Monday that the Intelligence Bureau has launched an operation to 'concoct stories, create fictitious elements and launch, at an opportune moment, a tirade of disinformation' against selected Congress leaders in states ruled by the party.

In a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jogi said he has information that 'the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has commissioned the IB to launch Operation Black Sea, preparatory to the BJP's election campaign in the Congress-ruled states'.

'The sole intent of this campaign of calumny is to defame political opponents, including Congresspersons like me,' the chief minister wrote. 'The game plan seems to be to fabricate make-believe stories of corruption, use meticulously forged documents, and systematically disseminate misinformation through the media at an opportune time, and reap political mileage in an election year.'

Jogi, however, said he would 'frustrate this game plan'.

He wrote that the operation has framed a list of six charges against him, including holding a joint account with wife Renu Jogi in the Union Bank of Switzerland for a deposit of $2 million.

The IB has also listed an MoU allegedly signed by Renu Jogi with a Malaysian software company, QDOS Flexicircuits SDN.BHD, with a 50 per cent share in profits made in India.

Jogi volunteered to provide the government with the necessary authorization to access any details from the Swiss banking authorities. But he denied any knowledge of the existence of the Malaysian company or any MoU signed by his wife with it.

The other charges allegedly listed by the IB and outlined in Jogi's letter are:

  • Acquisition of three kothis (penthouses) in South Delhi, one each in Greater Kailash I, Defence Colony, and Hauz Khas, worth more than Rs 5 crore,
  • Acquisition of two flats in the Santa Cruz locality in Mumbai worth more than Rs 2 crore,
  • Acquisition of more than 10 bighas of land, through a confidant, at Rajpur Road, Dehradun, worth more than Rs 2.5 crore, and
  • Holding fixed deposits, National Savings Certificates, and Kisan Vikas Patras worth more than Rs 1.67 crore in the name of his wife and sons.

Jogi's son Amit is also charged with receiving large sums from the Jindals, Tata Power, and the Monnet Group, to help approve their projects in Chhattisgarh.

Describing these charges as a 'cruel joke on someone who was yet to complete building a house for his family anywhere', Jogi wrote, 'What was most disturbing and painful was the fact that the IB is being abused to target my family, including my son, who is just a student based in Delhi. The reference to my son is not only false, but also highly mischievous and with an intent to slander.'

His letter to the prime minister said, 'Politics is not larger than life. In a democratic polity, all of us must follow certain rules and norms of ethics and public morality. Stooping to malign rivals goes against the high standards of governance established by your worthy predecessors.'

Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi
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