Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Congress candidate from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat and former railway minister on Tuesday accused his BJP rival Kirron Kher of attempting to defame him.
Kher, however, rejected the allegations and asked him to stop targeting her all the time.
Bansal vent his ire against the BJP and its sitting MP in Chandigarh after the Enforcement Directorate Tuesday attached Rs 89.68 lakh cash in a money laundering case involving his nephew.
“Dragging me mischievously in a case of which I am a prosecution witness, proves that the BJP has already smelled defeat in Chandigarh. Hence, Kirron Kher and her party are now trying all desperate means to defame me,” he told reporters here.
The ED, in a statement, said it has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to freeze the “bribe” money, which according to it was “proceeds of crime”.
Rejecting Bansal’s allegation, Kher said, “I came to know about ED’s action very late. The ED is an independent body and it is working independently.”
“Why would I like to defame him (Bansal)? Even in the last 2014 Lok Sabha elections, I never raised this issue. I am not that kind of person. It has nothing to do with me and my party at all,” she said.
Kher accused her Congress rival of “making excuses” and blaming her for “everything which is happening in his life”.
“You should stop making me the target all the time,” she told PTI.
The cash was allegedly seized by the CBI from the office of Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla in 2013 in a bribery and corruption case related to appointments at top positions in the railways.
The ED filed a separate criminal case based on CBI’s FIR and charge sheet against Railway Board Member (Staff) Mahesh Kumar, Vijay Singla, Sandeep Goyal and seven others.
Bansal alleged that ever since his name was announced as the Congress’ Chandigarh candidate, the BJP has been trying hard to “smear” his name in one way or the other.
“The BJP has already accepted defeat. Otherwise, instead of finding ways to attack me, they would have concentrated on talking about their own achievements. The truth is that the sitting MP has done nothing for the development of Chandigarh,” he said.
Chandigarh Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra alleged that the BJP had “stooped to the lowest level of dirty politics”.
“Recently, Kirron Kher has been served with two show cause notices by the poll panel. It seems the BJP has lost its balance. Amit Shah’s rally in Chandigarh has already turned out to be a faux pas. Nothing is working for them,” he said.
Chhabra claimed this was an old case which has no relevance now and is a deliberate move by the BJP to defame Bansal since they have nothing to say against him.
“It is a deliberate attempt to divert the attention of the voters from their failures to something which does not hold true. She (Kher) is using official machinery which she could not use for people’s good,” he alleg