In the latest development to the Congress toolkit case, the Raipur police said Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sambit Patra wasn't able to answer summons on Wednesday. The police have now issued a second summons to Sambit Patra, but the BJP leader has requested more time to join the investigation. In an email sent through his lawyer, Patra has asked for 7 days from the police and requested them to send the questions in writing.
Sambit Patra had earlier also sought 7 days upon being summoned by the police. On Sunday, the BJP leader was asked to appear before personnel of the Civil Line police station, where the FIR is registered against him and senior colleague and former CM Raman Singh over an alleged 'toolkit' of the Congress party. He however exempted himself from the inquiry, citing personal reasons.
The FIR has been lodged by the National Students' Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of Congress, against Patra and former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh at the Civil Line Police Station under the charges of spreading fake news and promoting enmity between classes in the alleged toolkit row.
While BJP has accused the Congress of using 'Corona Toolkit' to tarnish Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image, the grand old party has termed it a fake toolkit to discredit Congress. The case was filed following a complaint lodged by Akash Sharma, president of NSUI Chhattisgarh unit who alleged that some BJP leaders including Singh, and Patra had circulated a fake "toolkit" using the letterhead of the Congress.
In the notice, Civil Lines police said that Patra is a suspect in the case of the alleged toolkit. Therefore, he was asked to appear either in person or through a video conference on May 23 for the investigation of the case. Despite warning legal action, the BJP leader skipped the summon and requested more time.
Twitter recently labelled as "manipulated media" a tweet of Sambit Patra on the alleged 'toolkit' prepared by Congress to target the Narendra Modi government over the second wave of COVID. On Thursday, Congress had written to Twitter asking it to permanently suspend the accounts of BJP president JP Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani, Patra and other BJP leaders for allegedly "spreading misinformation and unrest in the society".
Congress had said the toolkit documents flagged by the BJP are "fake" and has filed a police complaint against its leaders. The BJP has been attacking Congress over some controversial content of the so-called COVID 'toolkit'. Pertinently, the matter has caused a huge rift between the government and Twitter after the social media platform's move of flagging first Sambit Patra's tweet and then the tweets of 5 other leaders.