The Bharatiya Janata Party, under fire from the Congress over the raids by the Enforcement Directorate at properties linked to a relative of Chief Minister Charanjit Channi in a case related to illegal sand mining in the state, has found rare support from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the matter. The Aam Aadmi Party today justified the ED raids. Reacting to the seizure of cash by the enforcement agency, AAP leaders launched a scathing attack against Channi who alleged a conspiracy to trap him.
Addressing a press conference, AAP leader Raghav Chadha said that if so much has been recovered from Channi’s nephew, how much more will be recovered if Channi’s house is raided.
“Rs 10 crore cash, bank entries worth Rs 56 crore, gold worth lakhs of rupees, luxury cars and property papers of farmhouses have been recovered. The raid is underway. My colleagues were telling me that CM Chnnni’s nephew did not have so much wealth a few months ago. This means, he has amassed all these assets in the last 111 days – Channi’s tenure as chief minister. If Chief Minister Channi’s one nephew has got so much, what more will be recovered from his other relatives and if ED raids Channi’s house, then how much property will be recovered?” said Chadha.
He said that while Badals made 7-star hotels, transport and cable mafias during their government, Channi is earning crores through the sand mafia.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that Channi is not a common man but a dishonest man.
On the other hand, CM Charanjit Singh Channi accused the BJP-led central government of hatching a conspiracy to trap him in the case. Addressing a press conference, Channi alleged that whenever elections are to take place, the Central government uses agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax and others against political opponents to target and arm-twist them.
The raids were launched at a dozen locations in the state earlier this week. About Rs 10 crore cash has been seized during the operation including about Rs 8 crore from the premises linked to Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, a nephew of Channi, reported PTI. Another about Rs 2 crore has been seized from the premises linked to a person identified as Sandeep Kumar, they said.
The ED had filed a criminal case under the PMLA in this case in November last year. The action has been initiated after taking cognisance of a 2018 FIR of the Nawanshahr (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district) Police and some other such police complaints against some companies and individuals alleged to be involved in the business of illegal sand mining in the state.
Punjab is scheduled to go to polls on February 20.