Voice of country cannot be suppressed by spreading fear of ‘puppet agencies’ Cong on ED raids in Chhattisgarh
New Delhi/New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) Condemning the Enforcement Directorate’s raids at places owned by its leaders in Chhattisgarh, the Congress on Tuesday said it cannot suppress the country’s voice by spreading fear of “puppet agencies”.
The ruling party in Chhattisgarh has said it is ready to fight it and will fearlessly raise people’s issues.
A large number of Congress leaders and workers protested in front of the central agency office in Raipur and alleged that the move was taken at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The protesters, led by Congress MLA Dhanendra Sahu and former Rajya Sabha member Saya Verma, staged a sit-in at the ED office building in Bachpedi Naga area.
A minor scuffle broke out when sloganeering Congress members tried to enter the premises but were stopped by security personnel.
“This is clearly political vendetta. It was expected. We were expecting (the raids) as the full session of the Congress was going to be held and the elections were coming… We were not afraid of anything,” All India Congress Committee general secretary KC Venugopal said.
Venugopal was in Raipur to review the final preparations for the party’s 85th Plenary Session to be held from February 24 to 26. Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh are due later this year.
“We law-abiding citizens, don’t think that the BJP or the Congress is going to get scared by the name of (Prime Minister) Modi. We will definitely fight it legally. You can see earlier. In the whole assembly of a national party, this kind of drama is being staged…,” Swamy said. Venugopal told reporters at Vivekananda Airport.
The ED on Monday raided more than 12 places in Chhattisgarh, including offices associated with state Congress leaders, as part of the ongoing probe into the coal tax scam.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadera hit out at the central government and said, “Prime Minister’s friend Gautam Adani has been accused of corruption through shell companies. Many serious charges have been leveled against him. But, is any agency investigating this?”
“But an agency has been used to create disruption in the plenary meeting of Congress and against voices talking about the connection between Modi ji and his friend,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Priyanka Gandhi asserted that the Congress will continue to raise its voice fearlessly on the country’s issues.
We will take a pledge in the Congress party to raise our voice against inflation, unemployment and corruption. We cannot stifle the voice of the country by terrorizing us through puppet agencies.
The Congress and state Chief Minister Bhupesh Bagel have called the central government’s raids “revenge politics”, a charge dismissed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Congress also questioned the timing of the raids.
Baghel had said the raids were an attempt to divert attention ahead of the party’s plenary meeting and could not break the spirit of its leaders engaged in preparations for the session.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who rejected the allegation, insisted that the Congress should not talk about corruption as it had lost power on corruption issues, and that investigative agencies should do their homework and investigate only if they have primary evidence.
The ED raided more than a dozen places associated with two Congress MLAs Devendra Yadav Pillai (Durk district) and Chandradev Prasad Roy in Sarangar-Pilaigarh district, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee treasurer Ram Gopal Aggarwal and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation president Girish Devangan. , Chhattisgarh State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board Chairman Sushil Sunny Aggarwal and the party’s state spokesperson RP Singh are in Raipur, officials said.
The ED’s investigation pertains to “a massive scam involving illegal charging of Rs 25 per tonne of coal by a cartel comprising senior officials, businessmen, politicians and middlemen in Chhattisgarh”.
In this case, 9 people including an IAS officer and a state administrative officer have been arrested.