BJP member and former chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Forest Development Corporation Shiv Shankar Pateriya claimed on Saturday that he was the mastermind behind the expose of alleged sodomy by former Finance Minister Raghavji, who resigned on Friday.
Mr. Raghavji resigned after his former male aide filed a police complaint against him for sexual harassment.
Amid Congress street protests against the former Minister, Mr. Pateriya, who hails from Mr. Raghavji’s native Vidisha, told journalists, “When people of my district brought this exploitation to my notice, I spoke to party leaders. I realised that I had to cleanse the party, so I asked the victims to record their ordeal. I have 22 such CDs,” said Mr. Pateriya.
He released a CD, “Rewanchal Yatra,” which allegedly depicts Mr. Raghavji sodomising a young man in the Rewanchal Express.
Mr. Pateriya claimed that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was in possession of the CDs and that was why he immediately sacked Mr. Raghavji. Even as he distributed CDs, Youth Congress activists rushed to garland him. He moved away on seeing them saying, “Garland me after I am dismissed from the party.”
BJP state president Narendra Singh Tomar suspended Mr. Pateriya from the party later in the day. BJP spokesperson Hitesh Bajpai told The Hindu, “Shiv Shankar Pateriya has been suspended indefinitely. The party doesn’t need to give reasons. We are not a government office. This man has been everywhere — the BJP, the Bharatiya Janshakti Party (headed by Uma Bharti) and the BSP. He is even close to the Congress.”
Mr. Pateriya said that he stood by his actions and welcomed the suspension. Plainclothes policemen are deployed outside his house here.
Informed sources said that Mr. Pateriya’s actions were part of a larger succession battle in Vidisha, a traditional BJP seat. Narendra Birthare, a former BJP MLA, said, “Mr. Pateriya was kicked out of the Bharatiya Janshakti Party. Uma Bharti is not behind him. You should ask the Chief Minister, who benefits by Raghavji’s departure.” Mr. Chouhan and Mr. Raghavji were earlier seen as competitors for the allegiance of the BJP cadre in Vidisha.