Ludhiana Police registered a case on Tuesday against unidentified persons for calling party leaders and asking them to publicly criticise the Chief Minister.
At a time when the Punjab unit of the Congress party battles to contain the infighting a year ahead of polls, several partymen have been duped of crores allegedly by a gang impersonating Prashant Kishor. The gang is believed to have promised favourable surveys and poll tickets to some leaders for the Assembly elections in the state scheduled for next year.
Ludhiana Police registered a case on Tuesday against unidentified persons for calling party leaders and asking them to publicly criticise the Chief Minister. It also came to light that a gang of Prashant Kishor impersonators was busted last month after it duped around 30-40 Congress leaders in the state. Reports suggest that the gang duped Congressmen of Rs 5 crore at least. Two members of the gang were arrested after police laid a trap following a complaint by MLA Kuldeep Singh Vaid. The gang members were trying to dupe Vaid but he got suspicious when asked for a gift and approached the police.
Those arrested were identified as Rakesh Kumar Bhasin and Rajat Kumar Raja. Another person who was arrested later was identified as Gaurav Sharma. All three hail from Amritsar.
A senior police officer informed The Indian Express that Sharma is a gambler and has perfected Kishor’s style of speaking. “He not only duped leaders from Punjab but also Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana and West Bengal. There are cases registered against the gang in other states but police were not able to pin them down,” a senior officer said.
Vaid told IE that he found the impersonator ‘very convincing’. Vaid said that he had met Kishor in person asking about feedback from constituencies and the impersonator had done his homework. “He was talking to me as if he had actually surveyed my constituency….The impersonator demanded Rs 10 lakh from me as a gift for two MLAs from other states who would conduct a survey and submit a report in my favour to make sure that I got a ticket. I became certain that this could not be Kishor,” said Vaid who later spoke to other leaders and approached Police.
A similar complaint was filed in Sangrur by former Congress candidate Daman Thind Bajwa. The impersonator had asked for Rs 7 lakh from her.
Notably, Prashant Kishor has been appointed as the principal advisor to CM Amarinder Singh in March this year.