The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday conducted searches at multiple locations in Chhattisgarh, including premises linked to Congress leaders, as part of an ongoing investigation into the coal levy money laundering case, officials said.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel slammed the BJP over ED searches at premises linked to Congress leaders in the state, saying such actions will not demoralise party leaders who are preparing for the party’s upcoming plenary session.
The raids come ahead of the Congress’s three-day plenary session, which will take place from February 24-26 in Raipur, the state capital. Chhattisgarh has a Congress government.
“Today the ED has raided the residence of many of my colleagues, including the treasurer of the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee, the party’s former vice-president and an MLA,” CM Baghel said in a tweet.
“There is a plenary session of the Congress in Raipur after four days. Our spirits cannot be broken by stopping our colleagues engaged in preparations for the session through such acts. The BJP is disappointed with the success of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and the truth of Adani being exposed. This raid is an attempt to divert attention. The country knows the truth. We will fight and win,” the CM added.
The ED investigation relates to “a massive scam in which an illegal levy of ₹25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”, the agency said.
The agency, till now, has arrested nine persons, including state administrative officer Saumya Chaurasia, Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari, Sameer Vishnoi- Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer and coal businessman, Sunil Agarwal.