Madhya Pradesh Police registered an FIR against Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh and 11 others on Monday in a case of circulation of an alleged “edited” video of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s old statements on the liquor policy of the previous Kamal Nath government.
On Sunday night (June 14), a BJP delegation, headed by former minister Umashankar Gupta, submitted a memorandum to the crime branch of Bhopal police. In their complaint, the BJP leaders said Chouhan had given a statement against the liquor policy of the then Kamal Nath government on January 12 this year.
They accused Digvijaya Singh and his associates of “conspiring to malign the CM’s image”.
This 2.19-minute video was edited and a nine second cropped part of it was shared on Twitter by Singh to malign the image of the chief minister, they alleged. Singh, however, deleted the tweet immediately.
Singh said he had no objection to the FIR against him, but the police should also investigate the source of the video and who “edited” it. In the video, Chouhan is purportedly seen commenting on the liquor policy of the previous Kamal Nath government.
“On the basis of the complaint, a case has been registered against 12 people, including Digivijaya Singh and Avinash Kadbe (MP Congress social media coordinator),” Additional Superintendent of Police Nishchal Jharia told PTI.
They have been charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 505 (2) (public mischief) and 465 (forgery), the official said.
Jharia said the FIR was registered after the complaint received from BJP leaders was found to be “right” in a preliminary investigation. “Further action would be taken after the investigation, he said.
Reacting to the development, Digvijaya Singh said the BJP is upset as he raised an issue of cheating in Chief Minister Chouhan’s constituency.
“The BJP has been fuming and is perturbed since I wrote to Chouhan that tribals in his constituency Budhni were duped of Rs 450 crore by his agents. No action was taken during Chouhan’s (previous) tenure. I wrote to him that if no action would be taken, I will be forced to sit on a dharna at the CM’s residence,” Singh told reporters.
He also demanded an FIR against those who duped the tribals in Chouhan’s constituency. “I don’t have any objection to the FIR (against him), but it should be investigated what is the source (of video) and who edited this? The BJP and Modi-Shah bhakts edited Rahul Gandhi’s video and circulated it and are running fake news. Action should also be taken against them,” he said.
State Congress president and former chief minister, Kamal Nath, criticised the action against Digvijaya Singh.
“The BJP government is continuously showing its malicious thinking by taking oppressive action against Congress leaders in the state,” Nath said. He said the BJP government is setting a “wrong tradition” in the state.
“People associated with the BJP are constantly doing dirty politics against Congress leaders and trying to spoil their image, they have made false complaints against Digvijaya Singh over a viral video,” he said, adding that action should be taken against those who created the video.