The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jogi sniffs Centre calumny plot

New Delhi, March 31: Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi today alleged the existence of an Intelligence Bureau operation, commissioned by the Centre, to frame him and several other senior Congress leaders in fictitious corruption cases to reap political mileage in the election year.

Jogi made a dramatic entry this evening at a routine AICC media briefing at the party headquarters here and made as dramatic a statement: “I am outraged, angry, disappointed and hurt.”

Asked to clarify, Jogi said he had written to the Prime Minister and the letter would make the issue “self-evident”. Then the copies of the letter were circulated along with a document, allegedly prepared by the bureau.

Jogi alleged the home ministry had directed the bureau to launch an operation, codenamed Operation Black Sea, with the sole purpose of carrying out a calumny campaign against him and several other Congress leaders.

“The gameplan seems to be to fabricate make-believe stories of corruption, use meticulously-forged documents, and then systematically disseminate disinformation through the media at an appropriate time — and this to reap political mileage in an election year,” he said.

Jogi said he secured the document on the alleged corruption cases against him from “someone” who also told him about the existence of similar operations against other Congress leaders.

The document mentions a $2-million Swiss bank account in the name of Jogi and his wife Renu. It also shows she signed a memorandum of understanding with a Malaysian company in the status of a business partner. Their business allegedly has an office in Bangalore.

The alleged bureau document goes on to mention that Jogi owns three houses in Delhi and one in Mumbai, land in Dehradun and a fixed deposit of over Rs 1.67 crore.

Jogi’s son Amit is also mentioned as obtaining the state government’s clearance for various private projects in Chhattisgarh.

Jogi rejected the contents of the document as “baseless, false, fictitious” and said he was ready to quit public life and face any legal action if his assertions were proved wrong.

The chief minister was also willing to authorise an investigation into the alleged foreign account.

According to Jogi, he wrote to the Prime Minister about “Operation Black Sea” to “frustrate this gameplan” of the BJP to systematically malign and personally target him. The letter, he said, was written with party chief Sonia Gandhi’s consent.

The BJP, Jogi said, was stooping low because it would fail to pin his government down on development or welfare issues during Assembly polls later this year.

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