ED trying to implicate me in alleged liquor scam: Baghel

Raipur, May 11:Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday accused the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of trying to implicate him in the alleged liquor scam in the state.
The ED has been acting as an agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he claimed while talking to reporters at the Police Lines helipad in Raipur.
“Our claim that the ED has been acting as an agent of the BJP has proved right. The way it has been threatening people to implicate them in false cases, they are now trying to implicate me in the alleged excise scam. Their main aim is to defame the Congress government,” he said.
The BJP has failed to take on the Congress government, so it is misusing the ED as its “subordinate organisation”, he claimed.
The CM asked why the ED was not taking action against distillers if they had accepted that they were selling liquor without paying the excise duty.
“The ED has continuously released press statements stating that distillers were selling liquor without paying the excise duty in the state. Now the question arises that if they were doing so, then will they become offenders or witnesses? Why action was not taken against distillers as they (illegally) got the benefit and have accepted it,” he said.
The way things have surfaced in the media trial, action should have been taken against them (distillers) but instead of them, others are being arrested, Baghel said.
“It clearly shows there is a nexus between the ED and distillers or between the BJP and distillers..it seems the BJP is trying to save distillers. The state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau will take cognisance of it and act accordingly,” he said.
The CM further said his government has been discussing the issue with legal experts as “scheduled” offences like extortion and corruption in the state do not come under the ED’s jurisdiction.
“The ED has been acting like local police in the state which is against the spirit of federal structure. Our legal experts have informed us that the investigation into scheduled offences like extortion and corruption does not come under the ED’s jurisdiction. We have been discussing with legal experts all illegal actions taken by the ED officials and will soon take action against it,” he said.
The Enforcement Directorate had in a statement said a “massive scam” happened in liquor trade in Chhattisgarh by a syndicate, comprising high-level state government officials, private persons and political executives, that generated corruption money of more than Rs 2,000 crore.
Two persons, including Congress leader and Raipur Mayor Aijaz Dhebar’s brother Anwar Dhebar, have been arrested so far in the alleged liquor scam case.
Another money laundering case that the ED is probing in the state is related to alleged coal levy relates to allegations of “a massive scam in which an illegal levy of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”.
The agency has arrested nine persons, including IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi and state bureaucrat Saumya Chaurasia, in the coal levy case.

Related Articles

Back to top button