Not Atal ashes but soil, says BJP; Cong cries foul

Not Atal ashes but soil, says BJP; Cong cries foul

Karuna Shukla, niece of the former prime minister, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and other Congress leaders were arrested after a clash with the BJP over ashes of Vajpayee kept at BJP state headquarters here on Tuesday.

The Congress was protesting in front of the BJP office and a tussle broke out between leaders of the two parties. Police arrested the Congress leaders. Trouble started after an electronic media channel reported that the BJP had plans to use the ashes of Vajpayee during upcoming elections to seek a pledge from voters to vote for the BJP.

Karuna Shukla alleged that the BJP is insulting Vajpayee by not immersing all the ashes. The BJP leaders retaliated by accusing Shukla of changing party.

'Soil, not ashes' 

Denying the allegation, BJP state president Dharamlal Kaushik told the media that it was not the ashes of Vajpayee but soil in plastic bottles, collected from different parts of Chhattisgarh for the Atal Memorial at Atal Nagar.

He said Karuna Shukla was always welcome at the BJP office. She could have walked in and checked for herself the real facts.

The BJP exhibited some video clips and news reports to prove that it was indeed soil collected from different villages of the state for the memorial coming up in Atal Nagar.