Ahead of the 2014 election, the BJP brought the Ram temple back to the political centre stage with Amit Shah stating during his first visit to Ayodhya as the in-charge of the party’s UP affairs that he had prayed for — apart from the ouster of the Congress from the Centre — “a grand Ram temple as soon as possible to restore Lord Ram to his rightful place”.
Shah, believed to be close to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, was seen to have put Hindutva back on agenda and BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s refusal to comment on Shah’s remarks only strengthened the speculation. The opposition was quick to point out that while Modi was talking about development, he had left it to Shah to raise communal issues.
Launching a ‘virtual’ election campaign in Bihar, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi made a veiled attack on his bete noire and Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, saying those who “betrayed” the BJP and the people’s mandate in Bihar by dumping the party from the coalition government would be “taught a lesson” and defeated at the hustings in 2014.
Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Raghavji resigned from his post after an obscene CD purportedly featuring him surfaced and a police complaint by his servant alleging that he was being sexually exploited by the minister.
The 79-year-old minister submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who forwarded it to state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for acceptance.
Raghavji had set a record by presenting the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh budget for 10 years in succession from 2004 to 2013.
Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Raghavji quit after an aide filed a police complaint that he was sodomised by the Minister during the past three years.
Raghvaji, a BJP veteran, is nationally renowned as the strongest opponent to the General Sales Tax (GST). He turns 79 on Sunday.
At 8 a.m. on Friday morning, a former aide submitted a complaint against Raghavji at Habibganj Police Station along with a sworn affidavit describing his ordeal. He accused the Minister, his aide Sher Singh Chauhan and brother-in-law Suresh Chauhan of forcefully sodomising him from 2010 to 2013.
The plaintiff stayed in the Minister’s official residence here. He was helped by Raghavji to find work at Som Distilleries in Bhopal. After facing threats to his life, the plaintiff got another aide, Ghanshyam Kushwah, to film him being sodomised by Raghavji. After this, he left the Minister’s residence and his job. Both the complainant and Mr. Kushwah, who belong to Raghavji’s native Vidisha district, have gone underground.
The BJP officially maintained that all allegations on Raghavji are mala fide. A senior party leader said, “He had to go. He had been warned earlier when another CD had surfaced two years ago. He was Shivraj ji ’s rival, yet he was accommodated in the Cabinet. We decided that the party should not suffer for one person.”
Senior BJP leader Raghavji used to call Rajkumar Dangi, the complainant in the sodomy case and his associate, as Rajkumari in private. This was revealed by BJP leader Shivshankar Pateria, who claimed to have made the CDs of the minister’s debaucheries.
Pateria claimed his sting operation was meant to clean the BJP by exposing such ministers. Pateria hails from Vidisha, Raghavji’s constituency, and was chairman of the MP State Forest Development Corporation till November 2005.
“I have 22 CDs of the octogenarian leader in a compromising position. The effort to expose the leader took almost two years,” he said.
Pateria said he made the CDs as senior leaders would have never accepted it without solid proof, although many were aware about it. Pateria also denied reporting the matter to police and said he was only behind recording the CDs.
Pateria was suspended from the BJP by evening.
The BJP on Sunday expelled former finance minister of MP Raghavji from the primary membership of the party after his help Rajkumar Dangi charged the leader of sodomy.
Following the expulsion, the police registered an FIR against him under sections 377 (carnal intercourse against the order of nature), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. Raghavji was forced to resign from Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet on Friday.