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Jogi accuses Vajpayee of misusing IB and CBI

November 03, 2003 11:32 IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi has accused Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of 'misusing' the Central Bureau of Investigation against him after receiving an election survey indicating a massive Congress victory in the state.

He accused the prime minister of indulging in political vendetta and harbouring anti-lower caste bias.

"It is a political reality that the NDA government at the Centre, especially our Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, cannot tolerate that the son of an adivasi is a chief minister of Chattisgarh. Such is their mentality. They want to look down upon the downtrodden in the society," Jogi said while participating in a BBC Hindi programme Aapki Baat BBC Ke Saath broadcast Sunday night.

Jogi said it was for this reason that they first targeted Laloo Prasad Yadav in Bihar and then Mayawati, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister. "Now in Chattisgarh they are making unsuccessful attempts to get rid of me, they cannot tolerate such changes in the society. Such is their mental state," he said.

Asked about a CBI charge that he had forged a document, Jogi said, "It has happened for the first time in the history of this country that a chief minister complains to the prime minister, and the latter turns the complainant into an accused."

Jogi asked why the CBI decided to file the charge sheet two days after the elections were notified. Chattisgarh will go to the polls on December 1.

"If they had evidence, why did they not do it earlier. It is only after the prime minister received reports of election surveys, which stated a victory with a heavy margin for the Congress that this was done," Jogi said.

He said he had received a document from the Intelligence Bureau by post. 

"I sent it to the prime minister requesting that this is a serious matter involving an intelligence agency and it must be investigated. Far from investigating, the prime minister chose to make me an accused," he said. 

"The charge sheet submitted by the CBI against me does not anywhere say that I have forged the documents. It, on the contrary, has a laughable query -- why did I write to the prime minister and why I did not investigate it myself?" he said.

He said no state government can launch an investigation against the IB. "If I had done that, they would not have told me anything. It is for the first time in the history of the country that a chief minister writing to the prime minister is booked in a case and it is for the first time that a complainant is turned into an accused."

"Even if the prime minister did not like my letter, he could have informed me. On the contrary he asked the CBI to file a politically motivated charge sheet against me. I have full faith in the judiciary of this country, and this charge sheet would not stand the legal scrutiny," Jogi said.

Jogi said the fact that just writing a letter had become an offence showed 'the typical forward caste mentality of this government'.

"Look at the reaction this thing had in Chattisgarh.  People brought the state to a standstill for two days. They were so angry with the prime minister after the charge sheet was filed against me, many effigies of the prime minister were burnt," Jogi said.

Asked whether he was also not indulging in the game of  'political one-upmanship' on the issue, Joshi said, "See, by writing a letter to the prime minister, I wanted the country to know that the top most intelligence agency of the country was being misused for political reasons. It was a serious matter."

"An operation by the name of Black Star had been launched to procure false documents against the political rivals of the NDA," he alleged.

"What I had said was that had the agencies like the IB been allowed to function properly, an attack on Parliament during broad daylight would not have taken place.

"The militants planned such a serious attack and there was no inkling. Had the IB been allowed to function impartially, militants and intruders from Pakistan would not have entered so far in the Indian territory in Kargil," Jogi said.

He said the Centre was not allowing the intelligence and investigative agencies 'to do their work. Such agencies are being forced to work against political rivals'.

When a questioner pointed out the seizure of school bags with his pictures printed a couple of days back, the chief minister said, "This distribution had been decided many months ago. This has nothing to do with elections. Also it does not have my photograph."

"There is a message by me to the tribal people of the state, printed in the local tribal dialect. In this message I have appealed to them that -- like me, a tribal, who studied to become an SP, collector, Congress spokesman and now the chief minister -- all tribals must send their children to school for a better future," he said.

Since the Election Commission had objected to it, the distribution has been stopped, he said.

Asked whether the state had suffered in the field of development because of the fight to settle political scores, Jogi reeled out figures to show that the state had made rapid progress under his regime.

"Earlier only Rs 36 crore was spent on roads here. Now Rs 1200 crore is being spent every year. As against Rs 90 crores spent on irrigation earlier, Rs 900 crores is being spent now," he said.

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