Coal and transport businessman Suryakant Tiwari, whose premises were recently searched by Income-Tax department in Chhattisgarh, on Sunday alleged that I-T officials told him that he could become Chief Minister if he uses his ties with ruling Congress MLAs to topple the government. His allegations led to a war of words between the oppositionand the Congress.
In a video message circulated on social media, Tiwari alleged that he was physically and mentally tortured during the searches after he refused to implicate a government officer posted at Chief Minister’s Office by giving false statement.
“During the IT search since June 30 in my premises, I-T sleuths threatened me and my family members… They forced me to link Soumya Chaurasia, deputy secretary posted at the CMO, with my business… and give statements against her,” he alleged.
Tiwari said Chaurasia was not the only officer with whom he shared good terms. “But I-T officers wanted me to implicate her and they also offered me to become Chief Minister by toppling the government,” he alleged. “I was told that the Congress MLAs I know will be supported by the BJP, if I help them, to form the government.”
State BJP spokesperson Sanjay Shrivastav said Tiwari’s allegations were at the behest of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and were baseless. “Bhupesh Baghel should be ready to accept his destiny. His agents have been exposed. Such baseless statements are not going to save them. The I-T department’s investigation is heading in the right direction,” he said.
State Congress communication wing head Sushil Anand Shukla said the coal trader’s statement shows that the BJP is trying to destabilise a democratically elected government in Chhattisgarh. “It is evident by Tiwari’s statement that BJP can stoop to which level to topple the government in non-BJP ruled states. Its examples were already seen in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Maharashtra. No matter how much the BJP tries, its efforts will not be successful in Chhattisgarh.”