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Settling political score in Madhya Pradesh intensifies

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New Delhi, June 01: As the Lok Sabha elections are over; the process of settling political score in Madhya Pradesh has intensified.

Last year, the Congress ended the 15-year-rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Congress leaders allege that since the party has assumed power in Madhya Pradesh the BJP-led Centre is trying to destabilise Kamal Nath government.

Kamal Nath

After the Lok Sabha elections were announced, the BJP put all its might to repeat the success of 2014 in the state wherein it had won 27 seats out of 29.

Name of Chief Minister Kamal Nath caught headlines on April 07 when the Income Tax (IT) department conducted multi-city raids at the premises of his Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Praveen Kakkar, nephew Ratul Puri and associated companies. The IT department says it has unearthed "widespread and well-organised" hawala racket of about Rs 281 crore.

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It also says that the cash was meant to be used as black money during the elections.

It's notable that Ratul Puri is already under the scanner of probe agencies for allegedly receiving kickbacks in AgustaWestland deal through his companies. Ratul Puri, has been grilled by the Enforcement Directorate at several occasions.

In response, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Madhya Pradesh Government on April 10 registered a case against concerned officers and employees of four departments of the state government, seven infrastructure companies and four Information Technology (IT) companies in connection with the multi-crore e-tendering scam.

The FIR mentions certain unknown politicians. The e-tendering scam took place during the previous BJP government and names of certain bureaucrats, considered close to the previous dispensation had come up in connection with it.

Kamal Nath government has also hinted at reopening 1200 pending Vyapam scam complaints.

More than 180 of these complaints name former ministers and political bigwigs of previous BJP-led Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

In an another development, BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government has cancelled land allocated to the Ghaziabad-based Institute of Management Technology (IMT), which is run by Kamal Nath family.

Meanwhile, the IT department is likely to summon top officials of the Madhya Pradesh government, politicians and relatives of Chief Minister Kamal Nath as part of its probe into an alleged hawala racket unearthed during Lok Sabha polls.

Though Kamal Nath has termed IT raids and cancellation of IMT land allocation politically motivated, Congress is concerned about the further probe into the IT raids.

Buzz is that nine Congress candidates from Madhya Pradesh had received hawala money.

Sources say that the Congress is concerned that the Central government may use pressure tactics to force at least six Congress candidates to give statement against Kamal Nath and party high command. They are sure about Digvijaya Singh, Ajay Singh, and Meenakshi Natrajan by terming them as hard nuts to crack.

I-T dept to summon top MP officials, relatives of Kamal Nath

They also allege that as the Central agencies had been tapping phones senior Congress of the state and their staff since long so they might have some information that could be used as a proof in the court of law.

In this Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has won 28 seats out of 29 in Madhya Pradesh. Kamal Nath's son won family bastion Chhindwara seat for the Congress.

The only priority of Kamal Nath and Congress is to save its government in Madhya Pradesh, which is being run with the support of two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), one Samajwadi Party, and four Independent MLAs. The Congress has 114 MLAs in 230-member Assembly while the BJP has 109 MLAs.

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