Attempts to Tarnish Image of Chhattisgarh Govt, ED Torturing Everyone, Says CM Baghel

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NEW DELHI – Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday trained his guns at the BJP government at the centre saying that there are attempts to tarnish the image of the state government and also alleged that it is using Enforcement Directorate (ED) to torture everyone.

He also said that now it seems that the agency will contest elections in place of the saffron party candidates.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, a day after his political adviser Vinod Verma’s residence was raided by the ED, Baghel said, “There have been attempts to suppress and tarnish the image of the Chhattisgarh government. It all started after they (BJP) were defeated in Jharkhand Assembly elections. They were silent for two and a half years, but have become active again as the elections are approaching.”

Targeting the government, he said that the agencies are alleging scams to the tune of Rs 2,168 crore in Chhattisgarh, which they have been unable to prove.

He further said that the assets recovered in raids make up for only a very small amount.

He said that they accused of using fake hologram but the hologram is put by the retailer. “No action has been taken against the retailer. It was alleged by the ED that there was a loss to the state’s revenue whereas it has only benefited. They alleged of Rs 500 crore FIR alleging coal scam took place in Karnataka Bhopal and Noida. The movable and immovable assets together reached Rs 150 crore,” he said.

Baghel said the problem of the BJP is that it is baffled how the government procured from farmers 107 lakh metric tonnes of paddy which earlier used to rot in the open.

“We saved all those losses. This is their worry,” he added.

Baghel alleged that they (ED) go to homes and confiscate mobiles.

“They seize property and accounts. Keeps people hostage in the house for five-six days. They will just keep sitting, they don’t have questions. Until the order comes from above, they don’t vacate, then they ask political questions,” he alleged.

“What I came to know is that the ED did not even allow anyone to even sleep for more than 40 hours. ED is holding people hostage for more than three to five days in their own home and does not even allow them to purchase medicines if someone is ill. This is a pure torture,” he said.

Hitting out at the BJP government at the centre, he said that be it any investigating agencies, they are only working at the behest of the BJP government.

Referring to the ED searches on Wednesday at several locations, he said: “Yesterday they reached at the house of my political consultant Vinod Verma and OSD’s home. They did not found anything. First IT raided, then ED entered and now they are applying in the court that CBI inquiry should be done in these cases only. The aim is to stop the work of the state government. These are only political objectives. They don’t want to contest elections democratically.”

“It seems that ED will contest elections against us, and not the BJP candidates.”

He alleged that the ED is threatening people to sign this paper or else they will send them to jail.

“More than 200 raids have been conducted in Chhattisgarh. The central government is getting all this done. Everyone knows about Sanjay Mishra (ED Director),” the Chief Minister said.

“In the next few months, a team of 200-250 personnel of I-T will conduct raids across Chhattisgarh…As they conduct more raids, their seats will decrease…”

“However, the people of Chhattisgarh have understood the tactics. As they conduct more raids, their seats will decrease. There are 15 seats, although at present there are 13 seats if they continue to do this, it will be hard for them to even win the 15 seats,” the Chief Minister said.

Lashing out at the BJP government without naming anyone the Congress leader said that Home Minister Amit Shah visits the state and only stays inside of the BJP office and returns back.

When asked if he is scared of getting arrested, following the arrests and raids on the premises of his aide, Baghel said: “We are from Chhattisgarh. We are not scared of death, nor do we fear going to jail. The Maoists have killed so many people, all our senior leaders have been martyred, and all this happened during their (BJP) rule. They had sent me to jail earlier. Raman Singh had sent me and the government of 15 years got down to just 15 seats.”

Baghel further said that he would give a befitting response to the BJP in the upcoming state assembly polls and wipe out the party from Chhattisgarh.

His remarks came a day after the ED arrested an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Chandrabhushan Verma of Chhattisgarh Police and three others — Satish Chandrakar, Anil Dammani and Sunil Dammani — as part of its ongoing investigation into the Mahadev app money laundering case.

The ED had initiated a PMLA investigation based on FIRs registered by the Chhattisgarh Police. The FIRs were registered by the Vishakhapatnam Police and other states were taken on record.

Searches were conducted at multiple locations by the ED on August 21 and 23 during which a large amount of incriminating documents were seized.-IANS

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