MP minister denies charges of accepting bribe

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Bhopal, Jun 25 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh Minister of State for Fisheries (Independent Charge) Moti Kashyap today rebuffed charges of accepting bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a fish contractor and said it was a ploy to defame him and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Reacting to newspaper reports, Mr Kashyap told reporters here that the allegation levelled against him was baseless and ill-intended.

''The reports published against me is baseless and politically motivated. I will lodge a defamation case against the fish contractor, who accused me of accepting bribe,'' he said Contractor Mohammad Soud, who had received contract for fishing in Halali dam, had lodged complaint to the Lokayukt that Mr Kashyap had demanded a bribe of Rs 10 lakh when he sought permission for inviting fishermen from outside the state for fishing.

The contractor claimed that he had already paid Rs five lakh as bribe to the minister's private secretary on November 13, 2007 and Mr Kashyap was demanding Rs five lakh more to give permission.

Mr Kashyap said he was ready to face any kind of probe in this regard but the inquiry should be impartial.

The Minister said, ''The fishermen from outside the state would not be allowed fishing, as the state is not grazing land for outsiders.'' He also denied the claim of the contractor that he already paid Rs 4.35 crore to the department for fishing in Halali dam for five years in 2005.

''In fact, the contractor had paid only Rs 1.95 crore in the past three years and the rest amount he would have to pay in the next two years,'' he said.

When pointed out that the Lokayukt himself was under the shadow of accepting bribery, Mr Kashyap said he would not comment on this issue.

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