On Monday, 20th February, the Enforcement Directorate held raids in the homes and offices of many Congress figures in Chhattisgarh as well as other locations. The central investigating agency conducted these searches in several areas across Chhattisgarh.
Details Of The Chhattisgarh Coal Levy Case
According to sources from Times of India, Ramgopal Aggarwal, who is the state Congress Treasurer, Chairman of Karmakar Mandal Sunny Agarwal, Party Spokesperson RP Singh, MLA Devendra Yadav, Vinod Tiwari, and chairperson of Chhattisgarh Mineral Development CorporationGirish Dewangan, were among the Congress heads whose properties have been raided. Other party rulers were also probed.
A report by the Press Trust of India has revealed that the Enforcement Directorate claims that the inquiry is in relation to “a massive scam in which an illegal levy of ₹ 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen”,
According to a report from ANI, the Enforcement Directorate has amassed compelling proof against Ramgopal Aggarwal that he got Rs 52 crore from Suryakant Tiwari, who is presently under judicial custody. Businessman Suryakant Tiwari is thought to be the mastermind behind the entire scheme.
These investigations by the Enforcement Directorate are in relation to the coal tax money laundering case in Chhatisgarh. As a result of this inquiry, four mining officers have been currently taken into custody. In total, a minimum of 9 individuals have been taken into custody as part of this case.
The Deputy Secretary of the state’s Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Saumya Caurasiya is among those who were charged in the case. She was arrested in December 2022. Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari, Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi and another coal industrialist Sunil Agrawal are included among the rest of the 9 arrested persons in this case.
Congress Party Reactions To The Raids
CM Bhupesh Baghel was expected to hold a media conference in the state at 11: AM today. However, to protest against the raids, members of the Congress party were planning to stage a gherao at the agency’s office in Raipur at the same time.
But before talking with the press, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel held a session with the senior leaders of the Congress party at his home.
These recent incidents have come to light right before the Congress Plenary Session, which will begin on February 24 in Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh, and go on till February 26. During this meeting, discussions and planning to prep for the Lok Sabha election that is coming up in 2024 will take place.
The probes and searches have been going on since October 2022. The crime is said to have been done during the administration of the ongoing government.
Considering the probe a calculated political move by their political rival, the head of the state Congress communication wing Sushil Anand Shukla said, “The BJP is afraid of the Congress’ 85th plenary session scheduled to be held in Raipur and in a bid to disturb it the opposition is misusing the central agency.”
He said that the party does not know how to handle political opposition in a fair manner, but rather, takes advantage of central organisations like the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI, etc.
In a file that was sent to the Court, the Enforcement Directorate also added, “Genesis of the scam of generation of illegal money through transportation of coal was started once the Geology and Mining Department issued a notification on July 15, 2020, signed by Vishnoi in the capacity of director of geology and mining department,”