M A I N   N E W S

Jogi should go too, says PM
Launches campaign for Dec 1 poll

Bikaner/Raipur, November 18
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today launched the BJP’s campaign for December 1 assembly elections in four states, asking Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi to step down like BJP state leader Dilip Singh Judeo and told the Congress there could be no double standards in dealing with corruption in public life.

Addressing an election meeting in Bikaner, Rajasthan, Mr Vajpayee said Mr Judeo had resigned from the Union Ministry soon after the allegation of bribery and there should be no different standard for Mr Jogi, accused in a forgery case.

“Jo niyam Judeo pe lagoo hota hai, wah Chhattisgarh ke mukhya mantri pe lagoo kyu nahi hota (why should the standards which apply to Judeo not be applicable to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister),” he said.

“There is a chargesheet against Jogi. He should not only resign but the case against him should also go on. Why should the policy be different in Jogi’s case? This is a question I ask (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, who launched his party’s campaign in Chhattisgarh, sought to be brazen about the Judeo controversy, saying the state BJP leader would be the star campaigner in the state.

Mr Advani, who addressed four election rallies in the state, told reporters in Raipur that the Judeo episode would have no adverse fallout for the BJP in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

“Mr Judeo will be the star campaigner for the party in Chhattisgarh,” he said.

Voicing concern over the regrouping of Al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Mr Vajpayee asked Pakistan to change its policy and snap all links with terrorism if it wanted to improve relations with India.

“Al-Qaida and Islamabad do not like India’s role in rebuilding of the war-ravaged Afghanistan and want us to keep away from there so that Pakistan can get involved,” he told the rally in Bikaner.

Mr Vajpayee said like in J and K, people of Afghanistan should be allowed to decide their own future.

On Iraq, he said New Delhi had decided not to send troops there “not because we are afraid but we do not want our jawans to face bullets in a country which is our friend.” — PTI


Jogi exempted from court appearance

New Delhi, November 18
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, charged by the CBI with allegedly using forged documents to tarnish image of the Centre and Intelligence Bureau, was today exempted by a Delhi court from personal appearance in the case till January 15.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shahabuddin granted exemption to Jogi from personal appearance taking into account the plea of his counsel that being at the helm of affairs in the Assembly election, for which today was the last date for withdrawal of nomination, he could not leave the state.

The court directed Jogi to appear in person before it on January 15.

The court agreed to the submissions of senior advocate Rajender Singh and D.C. Mathur, appearing for Jogi to grant a later date in view of the ongoing election after CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Jacob Daniel said the agency had no objection in this regard.

However, Jogi challenged the charges levelled by the CBI in the case and sought recalling of the summons issued by the court contending that the chargesheet in the case was gross abuse of law.

The court granted four weeks period to the CBI to file a reply and said if possible it would take the matter for hearing on January 15.

The court on October 8 had issued summons to Jogi after taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed against him for the offences under Sections 471 and 469 of the IPC.

Jogi’s counsel submitted that the investigation conducted by the CBI in the case was illegal and without jurisdiction as the agency had not taken the consent of the Chhattisgarh Government to conduct the probe inside the state.

The counsel contended that the case under Section 471 could not be made out against Jogi as there was no evidence on record to suggest that the document was forged.

The agency had alleged that Jogi was in possession of forged IB document and had used it as genuine and circulated them to media without waiting for confirmation or reply from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about its authenticity.

The CBI had registered a case on April 2 on receipt of a complaint from the Cabinet Secretariat alleging forgery of a document under the code name “Black Sea”, purportedly issued by the Intelligence Bureau relating to the acquisition of moveable and immoveable property by the chief minister. — PTI

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