RAIPUR: The Panama Papers leak is back to hog the political discourse in Chhattisgarh, as Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in an apparent snide reference to his predecessor Raman Singh’s son, has said that the ‘Nawaj Sharif of Chhattisgarh’ is roaming free even as the former Pakistan PM is languishing in jail.
In its 2013 expose on leaked privileged documents pertaining to offshore assets held by some wealthy people, including individuals who held public office, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) cited the name ‘Abhishak Singh’ in the Panama Papers. The same was allegedly taken to be a reference to the former CM’s son Abhishek Singh, a BJP Lok Sabha member from Rajnandgaon constituency in Chhattisgarh.
According to the ICIJ, “Abhishak Singh” holds an offshore account in British Virgin Islands.
As the state Congress president before eventually bringing an end to ‘Raman Raj’ in the recent state polls, Baghel had sought the resignation of the Rajnandgaon MP and his father and a probe into the alleged offshore dealings by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
After being voted to power, the Congress government had vowed a probe into every major corruption case. “We’ve only removed the dust from the files and Raman Singh and his party are already spending anxious days. There are many files that would be examined closely. Several conspiracies lie hidden in them,” Baghel said.
However, Abhishek has strongly denied any link to the Panama Papers scandal saying he neither holds any offshore account nor has invested in any company abroad. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had raised the issue while holding rallies in the state.