BHOPAL, 17 JUNE: The term "family politics" appears to have acquired a whole new, albeit twisted, notion in Madhya Pradesh all of a sudden.
Almost six months before the state Assembly elections, two of the top opposing political leaders of the state have launched a slugfest involving family members, including some who are no longer even alive.
The Congress’ Leader of opposition in the State Assembly, Mr Ajay Singh has accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his wife Mrs Sadhna Singh Chouhan, brother Mr Rohit Singh Chouhan and other family members of corruption.
In fact, this is possibly for the first time that the leader of opposition has leveled allegations directly at the CM and his family. Nonetheless, in a tu quoque, Madhya Pradesh BJP President Narendra Singh Tomar yesterday came out in defence of the CM and accused Mr Ajay Singh and his late father Arjun Singh and late grandfather Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh of being involved in corrupt activities as well.
Earlier, Mr Singh alleged that properties of the CM’s kin had grown exorbitantly in past few years. The Congress leader demanded a declaration of assets by the CM and his family members.
Mr Singh also alleged that files belonging to Mr Rohit Singh Chouhan’s company, Aditya Constructions, had been deliberately removed from the State Public Works Department (PWD) office at the CM’s behest, after a Right to Information (RTI) query was lodged.
Mr Ajay Singh has also said the Congress had gathered substantial evidence against the CM and would bring a no-confidence motion in the state Assembly’s monsoon session, scheduled to begin from 8 July. Apparently, this would anyway be the last session of the present Assembly before the elections.
Even as the CM chose to remain quite on Mr Singh’s allegations, Mr Tomar vociferously accused Mr Singh and his deceased kin of corruption.
Saying Mr Singh had no right to accuse the CM or anyone else of corruption, Mr Tomar said Mr Singh’s late grandfather had been jailed on corruption charges and his late father was also accused of massive corruption in the famous churhat lottery scandal when he was the Chief Minister of the state.
Mr Tomar also questioned Mr Singh how his family managed to own huge properties including Kerwa Palace in Bhopal, Rubber pouch factory in Bangalore, an apple orchard in Solan (Himachal Pradesh) and shares in many renowned companies despite the fact that they were not even able to repay a loan for a tube well till 1982.