Defending the appointment of Asha Kumari as party secretary in-charge of Punjab despite her conviction in an alleged land grab case, Congress today shot back at BJP for its criticism on the issue, saying “Amit Shah is an accused in a murder case who is out on bail”.
“BJP President Amit Shah is charged of murder and is out on bail. He is an accused in a murder case. Yeddyurappa (who has been made BJP chief in Karnataka) is accused of corruption.
“Ten cases are pending against Keshav Prasad Maurya who has been made BJP chief in Uttar Pradesh,” party spokesman Kapil Sibal told reporters, adding “Congress can never even think of appointing a murder accused as its chief”.
He alleged some BJP Ministers in Gujarat continued to occupy their posts despite being “convicted” by courts.
Sibal was responding to the attack on Congress by BJP and some other parties over the appointment of Asha Kumari.
He said the matter involving Asha Kumari was a “highly complicated and complex” land issue and “not a case of murder and graft”.
A note circulated by the AICC after the briefing gave a detailed description of the case and claimed she was a “victim of political vendetta” carried out through courts and that she will be acquitted by the Himachal Pradesh High Court, which is hearing her appeal.
The genesis of the case is a family dispute between Raja Prem Singh of Chamba and his younger brother late Rajkumar Brijendra Singh, the husband of Asha Kumari, over ancestral properties the note said. It alleged that Raja Prem Singh had, with the connivance of the then BJP Chief Minister P K Dhumal, got the case registered.
Speaking separately, an unfazed Asha Kumari rejected demands for her resignation, asserting she had party chief Sonia Gandhi’s “full mandate”.
Amid reports that her appointment as secretary in-charge of Punjab has left the Congress embarrassed, Kumari met Sonia and accused BJP, AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal of unnecessarily making an issue out of a “non-issue”.
Asha Kumari is out on bail in the case.