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I-T Searches in Chhattisgarh: Congress-BJP Spar as Businessman Claims Conspiracy

According to Suryakant Tiwari, I-T officials offered to make him the 'Eknath Shinde of Chhattisgarh'.

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India
3 min read
I-T Searches in Chhattisgarh: Congress-BJP Spar as Businessman Claims Conspiracy
i

Days after income tax officials searched properties of Chhattisgarh-based businessman Suryakant Tiwari and state Chief Minister's deputy secretary Saumya Chaurasiya, the former has alleged efforts to topple the government by the I-T sleuths.

Tiwari further alleged that the officials from the I-T department thrashed him and tried to compel him to speak up against a senior officer posted at the chief minister's office.

According to Tiwari, he was offered to become the 'Eknath Shinde of Chhattisgarh' for implicating the officer.

The I-T department had conducted a search and survey operation on multiple locations, allegedly associated with Tiwari and Chaurasia in Chhattisgarh on 30 June. Tiwari is a major player in transportation of coal transport in the state – and is said to have close ties with politicians across parties.

In response to the searches, former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Raman Singh had asked for Tiwari to be jailed and Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to step down from his post.

"Two people were at the helm of the I-T searches... They are enjoying this protection as both are working for the Chief Minister.
Raman Singh
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I-T Officials Offered To Make me CM: Suryakant Tiwari

Tiwari, in a video statement, said that I-T sleuths offered him the chief ministerial post if he would use his relation with the MLAs to topple to the government.

... The I-T officers told me that since I have good relations with 40-45 MLAs of the state... I should make a list of them and with the help of the Opposition, the government will be toppled in the state. They also offered to make me Eknath Shinde of Chhattisgarh..."
Suryakant Tiwari

However, the BJP's Chhattisgarh unit refuted Tiwari's claims, adding that the businessman was making the allegations at the behest of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Talking to the media, Raman Singh said:

"The allegations against me and my party members are totally baseless. The current CM should answer the question of his (Suryakant Tiwari's) role in his government. Tiwari is close to the Congress government and everyone knows it. He was the person who managed the MLAs when there was a tussle between the CM and his senior cabinet colleague. The chief minister should answer who Tiwari is and what was his role in this government is."
Raman Singh

The Congress, on the other hand, accused the BJP of attempting to destabilise a democratically elected government.

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Tiwari, in the video, responding to Singh's allegations, said he should be instead jailed for corruption – and the scams to the tune of thousands of crores that were a part of his tenure.

He further claimed that when Singh was the CM, he had gifted a hospital to his son-in-law who misused the public money. He also cited the alleged endorsement of chit fund companies by BJP leaders.

Congress-BJP Spar Over I-T Searches, Fling Allegations at Each Other

After the I-T search and survey operations, both the Congress and the BJP got into a tussle with each throwing accusations across each other.

Senior BJP leaders like Raman Singh and Rajesh Munat claimed that the Congress is involved in scams. Munat also shared photos of Tiwari with Congress leaders.

Following this, Congress spokesperson RP Singh released photos of Suryakant Tiwari with the BJP leaders, urging the BJP to comment on those photos instead.

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Topics:  Chhattisgarh   IT Raids   BJP Chhattisgarh 

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