Cong-BJP political 'dogfight' intensifies in MP

Bhopal, Jul 16 (PTI) Canines remain at the centre of a political slugfest in Madhya Pradesh as the ruling Congress on Tuesday hit back at the BJP for questioning transfer of police sniffer dogs and their handlers, claiming the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government had also issued such orders 63 times. The two parties are locked in a bitter war of words since Friday when 46 police dogs and their handlers were transferred by the state government, with the BJP dubbing it as part of a "flourishing transfer racket" under the Congress which came to power in December last year. An irked state PWD Minister Sajjan Singh Verma had retorted that the BJP had a "dog-like mentality". The transfer order was issued by the commandant of the 23rd Battalion of the Madhya Pradesh Police. On Tuesday, Congress leaders came out with copies of purported transfer orders of police dogs and their handlers issued during the erstwhile Chouhan-led BJP government. They sent the copies to Chouhan, who is now BJP vice- president. He was chief minister from 2005 to 2018. "On 63 occasions, police dogs and their handlers were transferred under the BJP regime headed by Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh. "We have delivered all these orders to Chouhan's staff at his residence today (Tuesday)," said Congress Media Cell Coordinator Narendra Saluja. After Friday's transfer order, MLA and state BJP vice- president Rameshwar Sharma had tweeted, "If it will be in their control, the Congress can even transfer the land and the sky." He had said, "The Congress can do miracles. It transferred dogs. The Kamal Nath government transferred about 50,000 officials and employees in six months. "Some of the officials were transferred 3-4 times in this period. A transfer racket is flourishing and posts in government offices are being sold." After the BJP's barb over the transfer of police sniffer dogs, Congress minister Verma had slammed the saffron outfit. "Can anyone harbour an enmity against an animal? BJP people said dogs have been transferred. It should have been better had they said that dog squad has been transferred. "This is their mentality, like a dog. So we can't help it," Verma had said at a press conference at Jhabua. Responding to Verma's statement, state BJP chief spokesman Dipak Vijayvargiya had urged Chief Minister Kamal Nath to take a serious note of the "unparliamentary" language used by his Cabinet colleague. "This is unbecoming of a minister. They (Congress government) have gone so far in the transfer business that they don't know where to stop. They have gone wild, Vijayvargiya had said. PTI ADU LAL RSY RTRT