The Jharkhand Police conducted a series of raids in several locations in Chhattisgarh on Monday to arrest Brahmanand Netam, the BJP candidate for Bhanupratappur assembly bypoll, in a 3-year-old rape case.
The BJP leaders, who have been daring the Congress government to arrest Netam, termed the exercise a futile political vendetta whereas the ED and the IT stung state Chief Minister derided the saffron party saying BJP leaders were daring the police to arrest Netam. Now, the same leaders are playing the victim card. Law will take its own course, he added.
A team from the TELCO Police station in Jamshedpur arrived in Kanker in the morning to arrest Netam, along with a BJP leader, Dipankar Sinha, for allegedly raping a minor girl. The Jharkhand Police with their counterpart in Chhattisgarh, raided several locations in search of the duo. Netam, meanwhile, reached the party office in Bhanupratappur to be surrounded by hundreds of his supporters and key party leaders including Brijmohan Agrawal.
Former CM Dr Raman Singh also defended Netam by questioning the procedure of the raids without serving a single notice in the three-year-old case. He said the haste shown by the Jharkhand Police, indicates at a larger conspiracy of the Congress party because it had foreseen it’s crushing defeat in the bypoll.
The probe into the case, revealed several other names including that of Netam, who allegedly raped her.
State Congress president Mohan Markam pulled the rug from under the BJP’s feets last week by alleging that Netam was an accused in the case. “BJP candidate Brahmanand Netam is an accused in the rape case of the minor girl. He has not submitted information about this case in his nomination form, his nomination should therefore, be rejected”, Markam demanded.
The assembly by-poll in Chhattisgarh was necessitated following the demise of Deputy Speaker of State Assembly, Manoj Mandavi last month. A victory for the Congress party would suggest a stamp of public approval for embattled Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel who is facing a series of challenges largely due to his close aides inching closer to swelling legal tangles.
The BJP’s win, however, would mean a strong under-current against the present dispensation just a year before the crucial assembly polls. Both the parties are leaving no stone unturned to win the by poll.