The Congress on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Narendra Modi, in the wake of a sting operation, which claims that it has "exposed" a plan by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to save the Gujarat chief minister's key aide Amit Shah in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case.
The Congress claimed that an attempt is being made to cover up the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, a member of the Other Backward Classes, in an alleged fake encounter by those who indulge in politics in the name of the OBC.
"The facts, which have been shown in the CD, are very serious and important. This is an attempt to influence the judicial process. The matter should be investigated by the CBI and till the probe is over, Modi should not remain in office. He should resign. How can he remain the chief minister when such allegations have come out," All India Congress Committee Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken told reporters.
The Congress briefing came a day after a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court against BJP Members of Parliament Prakash Javdekar and Bhupendra Singh Yadav -- alleging that they tried to impede the investigation in the Prajapati fake encounter case -- in which former Gujarat home minister Shah is the main accused
Sharing the dais with Maken at the briefing was party MP P L Puniya, who is also the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
Puniya said that since it was his mandate to look into the issues concerning backward castes, he took up the matter when people from Prajapati community came to him with the CD, complaining of an attempt by BJP leaders to influence the investigation and judicial process in the case.
"The people from the Prajapati community, who came to me, were quite angry that on the one hand a member belonging to their community was killed and now, efforts are being made to influence the process of investigation and the proceedings in the court. Prajapatis are most backward castes,” he said.
"We will take action into the matter and send a copy of the CD to the CBI. I would ask the agency to bring it to the notice of the Supreme Court," Punia said.
The petition filed by a journalist on the basis of a sting operation done by him alleged that attempts were made by the MPs to impede the trial and other judicial proceedings by "manipulating the complainant with the sole intent to protect Shah".
Pushp Kumar Sharma, the petitioner, had alleged that he had captured the "criminal conspiracy hatched and executed" by MPs, senior BJP leaders and advocates on concealed cameras as part of his undercover investigation. He also filed CDs of the video footage along with his petition.
He claimed in his petition that he had caught the two parliamentarians on tape discussing how to get blank vakalatnamas signed by the mother of Prajapati, who was shot dead in December 2006.
Shah, who is the key accused in the killings of Soharabuddin and his wife Kauser Bi, has been named accused number one and the kingpin of the conspiracy in the fake encounter case of Prajapati, who was killed near Chhapri village near Danta in Palanpur on December 28, 2006.
During the AICC briefing, the CD of the sting operation was shown to media personnel, who posed a number of questions as to why the CD, which was shot almost eight months ago, is being made public now and questioned credentials of the investigative journalist.
Maken downplayed these questions, asking, "Do these things reduce the criminality of what has been shown?”
"What is coming out of this video is hard fact. What we are more concerned about and would like to stick to is the content of the CD, not its time-frame. Can the BJP deny that the two leaders shown in the video are not real or that senior leaders of the BJP are trying to use their political clout to influence the legal process,” he said.
"All we are saying is that the matter should be inquired into thoroughly and Modi should step down and remain out of office till the inquiry is over. Because Modi's track record shows that if he remains in power, he will try to influence the probe," the AICC general secretary said.
Former Congress Legislative Party leader of Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said that Modi has no right to remain in office after this CD "exposes" his involvement in this "cover up" plan.
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