The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jogi whinges, Sonia disowns

New Delhi, April 2: Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi has put the Congress high command in a spot after he wrote a second letter to the Prime Minister today, demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Intelligence Bureau’s alleged operation to frame him.

Within a few hours of Jogi’s interaction with the media here, during which he distributed copies of his second letter in as many days, AICC general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh affairs and Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ambika Soni said he had written on his own and the contents of the letter were “his point of view”.

Soni was replying to questions whether the Congress president was consulted before Jogi sent his second letter to A.B. Vajpayee or endorsed his demand for a joint parliamentary committee inquiry into his allegation that the bureau had launched an operation, codenamed Operation Black Sea, to implicate him in fictitious corruption cases.

Jogi’s second letter followed Vajpayee’s reply to the first one yesterday. In his reply, the Prime Minister had denied that the bureau had launched any operation against Jogi and asserted the alleged bureau document — which Jogi had enclosed to prove his case — was a “forged” one. Vajpayee informed Jogi that he was ordering a CBI inquiry into his forgery charge.

Questioning Vajpayee’s conclusion, Jogi said the whole issue was being “prejudged” without a proper and independent assessment, just based on the bureau director’s words.

Jogi alleged that the CBI inquiry was merely meant to confirm the director’s version and, hence, would not inspire confidence. The chief minister said he was willing to cooperate in the inquiry if the government instituted a JPC probe.

Asked whether the Congress endorsed its chief minister’s demand for a JPC probe, Soni said he would have to check with the party chief. On Monday, Jogi had sought Sonia’s permission before writing his first letter to the Prime Minister. Asked about the authenticity of the document which Jogi asserted came from the bureau, Soni said: “He (Jogi) must be having substantial reasons to believe that the document is genuine. When required, he would prove it.”

Soni, however, said Jogi had also made an important charge that the government was using the bureau to fix political adversaries in the election year on which the Prime Minister had evaded a reply. Perhaps Jogi wanted this aspect to be probed by the JPC, she added.

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