With Assembly elections soon to be held in Chhattisgarh, and BSP and CPI having formed an alliance with Ajit Jogi’s party, the Jogis are in the news again. Ajit Jogi is the first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. He ruled for 3 years from November 2000 when the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh to 4 December 2003. A mechanical engineer from the Maulana Azad NIT (then REC) in Bhopal, he later passed IAS. He then joined Congress and was close to Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi. His wife is Renu Jogi and son is Amit Jogi.
It will take an encyclopedia to even compile the list of illegal acts committed by the Jogi family. Let us first see the issues involving Amit Jogi, the son of Ajit Jogi:
1. Amit Jogi is the prime accused in the Ram Avtar Jaggi murder case. The then NCP Chhattisgarh treasurer Jaggi was murdered on 4 June 2003. A few months earlier senior Congress leader V C Shukla had left the Congress to join NCP along with his supporters. Ajit Jogi, the then Chief Minister, was miffed at this and managed to get back many of Shukla’s men from NCP back to the Congress. But Ram Avtar Jaggi did not return and stayed with V C Shukla and was murdered on 4 June 2003. Even the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the UPA, which was called a ‘Caged Parrot’ by the Supreme Court and was thus in a way, a Congress Bureau of Investigation, said that Amit Jogi was the brain and the prime conspirator in this.
Amit Jogi (as well as Ajit Jogi) was acquitted by the trial court in 2007. But the CBI filed an appeal against his acquittal. Actually, the CBI urged the Central Government to give permission for filing an appeal, which was delayed for 4 years, and as soon as the permission was granted, it filed an appeal.
In Feb 2006 CNN-IBN reported that Ajit Jogi had also been named as a co-conspirator in the case of the murder of Chhattisgarh state NCP treasurer Ram Avtar Jaggi after two of the several accused turned approver and gave statements in a Chhattisgarh court. Ajit Jogi was ultimately acquitted in the case due to lack of sufficient evidence, but 19 were convicted, which included 4 Congress workers. The then NSUI state President, Ejaz Dhebar’s brother Yahyaha Dhebar was convicted and given life term, as was Chiman Singh, who actually shot Ramavtar Jaggi dead. Singh was a close associate of Ajit Jogi.
2. Amit Jogi took the IAS exam in 2001 despite being a US citizen under the SC category when his father Ajit Jogi was the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.
3. The Times of India reported that his parents got an ST certificate for him in 1986 at Bilaspur though he was a US citizen at that time, which is illegal.
4. It is alleged that Amit Jogi gave the IAS on the fake ST certificate, though he claims he had informed the UPSC of his being a US citizen. But it is not possible to give IAS ‘informing’ anyone of being a non-Indian and the concerned people also denied any communication of this nature. This would mean that the charge that Amit Jogi used his fake certificate made in 1986 to give IAS seems to be true.
5. Amit Jogi was a US citizen and got Indian citizenship only in July 2004. His Indian visa expired on 31 October 2003 yet he continued to stay illegally in India even more than 1 and a half months after his visa expired. He was a holder of US passport, on a long-term visa, valid for five years from its issue in October 1998.
6. The CBI, during the UPA era as per the SC, also said in July 2005 (Under UPA rule) that Amit Jogi was behind the sting operation of the late Dilip Singh Judeo.
7. Even Congress loyalist Outlook reported the role of Jogis in this case.
8. Of course, now it has come to light that Amit Jogi gave 3 different versions of his birthplace and date of birth. The Hindu had reported that Jogi submitting multiple dates and birthplaces in different forms and affidavits is curious. In his application dated December 15, 2001, for registration as an Indian citizen under Section 5(1)(A) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, Amit Jogi stated that he was born on August 7, 1977, in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. On August 26, 2002, during his father’s tenure as Chief Minister, Amit Jogi applied for a State of Chhattisgarh Domicile Certificate in which he claimed he was born in Bilaspur on August 7, 1978, a full year after the date mentioned in his application form for Indian citizenship.
Even in this application, Amit Jogi added another variation in his supporting affidavit, claiming his birthplace was Village Pendra, Bilaspur District.
However, Amit Jogi was issued a Domicile Certificate on the basis of his application by the Collector, Raipur, affirming Chhattisgarh as his birthplace.
On August 27, 2004 (during the BJP government’s rule in Chhattisgarh) Amit Jogi went on to apply for a Scheduled Tribe (ST) Certificate. In his application and sworn affidavit, Amit Jogi claimed that he was born on August 7, 1977 — not in Dallas, but in Gaurela, Pendra Road.
However, the Patwari’s certificate submitted by Amit Jogi along with his application states that he was born in Saarbahara Village Tehsil Pendra Road, District Bilaspur.
Apart from these glaring discrepancies within the same application, the validity of his claim for ST status has been hugely debated after the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes held that Ajit Jogi is not a Tribal. This was challenged by Ajit Jogi on the ground that the Commission has no power to probe an individual’s caste status.
After a prolonged legal battle, the Supreme Court ordered a fresh enquiry into his caste status on October 13, 2011.
After this exposure of 3 different versions of Amit Jogi’s birth certificates, Congress leader Rashid Alvi was asked by TV channel CNN-IBN to explain this issue of his birth certificates. He replied: “We will find out the truth and get back to you.” The Congress Party has still not broken its silence on this issue, even when the Jogis have left the party, which they left in 2016. Rahul Gandhi was and is, deafeningly silent on this issue ever since 2013.
These are just the issues involving Amit Jogi. The Cash-for-MLAs scam of 2003 in which Ajit Jogi, Amit Jogi and Sonia Gandhi are all named on tape as being involved is given here.
Ajit Jogi’s issues:
1. KODAR DAM: First case of financial impropriety was filed in 1980-81 when the Kodar dam was under construction during Jogi’s collectorship in Raipur. This was when as IAS he was Collector and had not resigned from IAS to join politics.
2. HELP TO CIA: During his collectorship in Indore in 1981-85, he was accused of stealing design papers from CAT, Indore (a defence installation) and selling them to the CIA. The charges were never proved but another charge of appropriating land belonging to Church of North India to build a colony was also instituted.
3. FAKE CERTIFICATE: Jogi’s ST certificate has been issued by a Pendra tehsildar in 1967. All cases challenging it has been clubbed in the Bilaspur High Court, which will also decide whether the SC/ST Commission of India order proclaiming him an SC (and NOT an ST which he claims) is correct.
4. JUDEV SCAM: The CBI is investigating the Judev VCD. It has tracked certain e-mails by Amit Jogi claiming to have carried out a Tehelka II. Along with Amit, Ajit Jogi is also alleged to have been behind the CD. We have seen CBI and Outlook showing their hands in Amit Jogi’s issues above.
Ajit Jogi said a lot more about the Judeo CD than anyone would know. Immediately after Dilip Singh Judeo’s press conference in Raipur on 16 November 2003 (Sunday), Jogi had called a press meet where he said the money transaction had taken place in the Taj Hotel in New Delhi. He had also said the money paid to Judeo was more than what Bangaru Laxman had accepted from the Tehelka frontmen. However, neither the newspaper that broke the story nor cable news channels had given these specifications. Then how could Ajit Jogi have known this unless he had a hand in the entire episode? This was also alleged by the BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
Congress loyalist weekly Outlook also gave details of Jogi father-son duo’s hands in the case.
5. In May 2011, there was a Lok Sabha bypoll to Bastar seat in Chhattisgarh. Ajit Jogi was caught on camera distributing cash to voters at an election rally in Bastar, where LS by-poll was held on May 8.
As a matter of fact, the LS bypoll was held due to death of sitting MP Baliram Kashyap, whose sons were killed by Naxals in September 2009. He was the man who Ajit Jogi tried to install as Chief Minister in December 2003 after losing polls by wooing some BJP MLAs through money and forming a government with Congress support in the infamous Cash-for-MLA case.
6. In July 2013 there were further reports of caste certificate of Jogi being fake. The Telegraph reported that the Raman Singh-led BJP government is set to make public a report that says the Congress leader is not a tribal and possesses a fake caste certificate. The state government had set up a high-level, quasi-judicial body to look into Jogi’s caste certificate on a directive from the Supreme Court, which had found evidence on his caste inconclusive while dismissing a petition a few years ago.
7. Ajit Jogi is also accused of using forged documents while applying for petrol pumps in 1996. BJP spokesman, Prakash Javadekar, said on November 2003 that two separate affidavits filed by Jogi in November 1996 said that he was domiciled in Delhi and that the combined income of his family was “not more than Rs. 50,000” in 1993-94 and 1994-95. However, the BJP claimed that it had obtained an income certificate of his wife, Renu Jogi, from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, where she was then working, showing that her income in 1993-94 was Rs. 85,946 and in the following year it was Rs. 95,170.
Armed with this “document”, Nand Kumar Sai, the BJP’s candidate against Mr Jogi in the Mirwahi Assembly constituency in Chhattisgarh, in the 2003 polls filed a case with the Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala Courts charging Jogi with cheating.
8. In April 2003 Ajit Jogi claimed to present an IB document as proof of ‘witch hunt’ by the then NDA government. But this document was also fake, and the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge sheet in October 2003 against Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi for using forged documents to tarnish the Intelligence Bureau’s image.
In March 2003, Jogi had alleged that IB’s Special Directorate had launched an operation code-named ‘Black Sea’ to target opposition leaders in the run-up to the elections in Congress-ruled states. The IB all along has denied that there was an operation codenamed ‘Black Sea’.
9. In November 2013, while campaigning before the Chhattisgarh polls, he said addressing tribals that they will get an ‘electric shock’ if they press any button than the Congress’ on the Electronic Voting Machine on the polling day while voting. This is on video recording. This is an offence- intimidating voters with fear and basically misguiding gullible tribals. He got a notice from the Election Commission for this.
10. Ajit Jogi also used government aircraft for party President Sonia Gandhi’s work which is also not permitted. The Election Commission trained its ire on former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh for having used state government aircraft during the December Assembly elections but let off Congress president Sonia Gandhi lightly for a similar act.
The Commission had issued a show-cause notice to the Congress in Nov 2003 asking why it should not be de-recognised in the wake of its president Sonia Gandhi and Chhattisgarh chief minister and Speaker having used the Chhattisgarh government aircraft for travel while the model code of conduct was in force. The Commission directed the Congress that it must reimburse within 30 days either from its own funds or by recovering from Mr Jogi the total costs of the seven flights undertaken by him and the two flights taken by Ms Gandhi in the Chhattisgarh government aircraft.
These are legal cases. But there are several other doubts and suspicions on Jogi also. He also said as Chhattisgarh CM in February 2003 that tribals are not Hindus. He said that any religion the tribals embrace is their first, and thus it is not conversion if they become Christians! He had the audacity to say this, as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh!
The Congress, which is claiming to be ‘more-Hindu-than-you’ has never once condemned Jogi for this statement, nor has it given any clarification on it, on whether it thinks that tribals are Hindus or not.
Rahul Gandhi, who famously tore up an ordinance of the UPA Government aimed at saving the tainted, has all along kept a deafening silence on all the above issues. And he had the audacity to give MLA tickets to both Ajit and Amit Jogi in the December 2013 Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh!
Today, CPI and BSP are allies of the Jogis, and they too have no answer on the antics of their alliance partners. The role of the media in all this is also of course, reprehensible. It allowed the Congress to go scot-free on the issue of Amit Jogi’s 3 different versions of birth certificate for as many as 3 years after 2013 until 2016 when the Jogis were in the party. Far from asking Rahul Gandhi or the Congress to explain, it covered up the issue.