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HomerajasthanRajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra's premises raided by ED in money...

Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra's premises raided by ED in money laundering case

Jaipur: In the midst of election season, Enforcement Directorate officials raided the premises of Rajasthan Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra in the state capital and Sikar in connection with the exam paper leak and the consequent money laundering case early this morning today.

The premises of the Congress party candidate from the Mahua constituency in Dausa district, Om Prakash Hudla and some others are also being raided. Raids are under way in Jaipur, Sikar and Duas.Hudla won as an Independent in 2018. He has now been offered the same seat by Congress.

Dotasra meanwhile posted “Satyamev jayete” on X (formerly Twitter).

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot has also been summoned by the ED under the Foreign ExchangeManagementAct (FEMA) in the case of Triton Hotels and Resorts Private Ltd. This news was shared by Gehlot on his X handle, citing the ED’s official letter.

He further wrote, “Now you can understand what I have been saying for long. That ED officials are conducting raids everyday in Rajasthan because BJP does not want women, farmers and the poor to avail the benefits being guaranteed by the Congress government.”

In a hurriedly convened presser, a belligerent Gehlot said the central government was misusing agencies like the ED and sending it to states where elections are due. He compared the coming of ED to the locusts, who usually invade from Pakistan. He said: “Just like the locusts, who come from Pakistan and destroy the crops, the ED also descends on states due for elections. What is the credibility of ED left now? It will be known all across the state that ED is being usedas a locust swarm. “

Gehlot had promised Rs 10,000 annually for women head of families andRs 500 subsidised cylinders for 1.04 crore families if they return to power, at a rally in Jhunjhunu yesterday attended by Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi.

Gehlot said“Just because the Congress government announced some guarantees if we retain power, the centre has sent the ED, without notice, without any recent complaint. The ED notice asks Vaibhav to be present for questioning within a day in a 12-year-old case. Such actions make a mockery of the system.”

He added In the period between 2004 to 2024 under the UPA government, 112 genuine raids were conducted and 96 chargesheeted. After 2014, there have been 10 raids in 9 years and 881 charge-sheeted, i.e. around 29 per cent.”

In a jibe targeted at the BJP, Gehlot said at least five more guarantees would be announced soon. He said the BJP does not want us to provide relief and guarantee to the common man. He mocked the BJP, saying “So please decide beforehand, which places to raid. Entire raid is actually to target me. ”

Vaibhav Gehlot told reporters that “this is a 12-year-old case, where I have already clarified my answers. I have a taxi business running in the city’s Fairmont Hotel and the case pertains to that hotel.”

Gehlot also emphasised that “Vaibhav and Ratan Sharma of Triton were partners earlier and invested around Rs 25 lakh each. Now they have separated and are different companies.”

BJP, on the other hand, said the ED is conducting raids to give justice to 70 lakh youths who have suffered due to the paper leaks. Around 19 paper leaks have happened in the last five years and the Congress Party had a major part to play in the process. Congress should welcome the ED instead of complaining if it wants to provide benefits to the youths.

ED had conducted searches across 15 locations in Rajasthan in June this year that led to the recovery of incriminating documents. ED had taken over the case of paper leak of Rajasthan Public Service Commission’s examination for the recruitment of Senior Teacher Grade II conducted between Dec 21 and Dec 24, 2022 from Rajasthan Police.

ED had also arrested Babulal Katara, RPSC member and Anil Kumar Meena under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Congress has come down heavily on the raids, saying that BJP which has lost the confidence of the public is trying to throttle the voice of those leaders, who raise their voices against the central government.

While Dotasra had been warning of ED raids at his place for quite some time, Hudla’s brother Hari Om Meena had been arrested for fielding a dummy candidate for the Staff Selection Commission’s Multi-Tasking Staff (MTS) exam in June last year.

The exam paper leak issue has become an important poll issue. At least 14 paper leaks have happened in the last four years.

To curb the rampant leaks, the Rajasthan government has passed the stringent Rajasthan Public Examination ( Measures for Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment Bill, 2022, which allows the police to confiscate properties of people accused in the case. Any one found guilty can be jailed for upto 10 years and fined up to Rs 10 crore.

Rajasthan votes on November 25, almost a month from now.

(Published 26 October 2023, 06:33 IST)

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