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(FOR BHUPI SIR AGENCY PACKAGE) With polls round the corner, CBI, ED get active on the case of Gehlot's brother

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(FOR BHUPI SIR AGENCY PACKAGE) With polls round the corner, CBI, ED get active on the case of Gehlot's brother

Joining this league is CM Ashok Gehlot whose brother’s place in Jodhpur was one amongst those being raided by the CBI last year.

The agency conducted searches at multiple places across Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal and Gehlot’s brother Agrasen was one amongst them.

Sources said that Agrasen, a businessman, was booked for alleged corruption along with others, including some government officials. He is already facing a money laundering probe by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a case of alleged diversion of fertilisers during 2007-09.

Now these CBI raids are separate from the one being probed by the ED.

Earlier, amid political crisis in Rajasthan in July 2020, when former deputy CM Sachin Pilot had revolted against the Gehlot government and the BJP was allegedly trying to cash in on the situation, the ED had raided Agrasen’s premises in the fertilizer diversion case.

On July 22, 2020, ED conducted raids at 13 places in Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat and Delhi in connection with the case. The premises included those associated with Agrasen Gehlot and his company Anupam Krishi.

Officials said that the alleged scam concerns Muriate of Potash (MoP), which is imported by Indian Potash Limited (IPL) and distributed to farmers, through companies, at subsidised rates. IPL is concerned with import-handling, promotion and marketing of Potash in the entire country, and is provided at subsidised rates to farmers

Between 2007 and 2009, Agrasen Gehlot, who was an authorised dealer for IPL, bought MoP at subsidised rates and sold it to few companies, which in turn exported it to Malaysia and Singapore in the guise of Industrial Salt, instead of distributing it to farmers.

MoP is in the list of items which are banned for export. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had unearthed the scam in 2012-13.

ED sources said Gehlot and his company were eventually imposed a penalty of Rs 60 crore in connection with the case. It was alleged that around 35,000 metric tonnes of MOP worth about Rs 130 crore was diverted in the case.

The central agency decided to register a case of money laundering after the Customs Department filed a chargesheet in the case, the day when Income Tax Department raided three Rajasthan based business groups said to be close to state CM. The raids were carried out in the middle of a political slugfest between Gehlot and Pilot.

Meanwhile, last year, when CBI conducted raids at Agrasen’s place, Ashok Gehlot hit out at the centre over this raid at his brother’s residence, and said this will not going to panic him but will ultimately harm the BJP only.

Gehlot termed the raid as an act of revenge by the centre for his recent activism in Delhi.

Before this CBI raid at Agrasen Gehlot’s residence in Jodhpur in connection with a corruption case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) team too had raided his place in 2020.

“If I am active in Delhi or have participated in this movement for Rahul Gandhi, then why revenge is taken from my brother? When there was a political crisis here in our government in 2020, at that time also the ED had raided my brother’s place,” Ashok Gehlot said while speaking to the media at that time after returning from the national capital.

He said, “It’s not fair. We are not going to panic because of this.No member of my family is involved in politics. It is beyond comprehension that first they conducted an ED raid, and now a raid by the CBI. Even the people of the country have no taste for this. At last, the loss will only be of BJP and of the central government. The more they harass the people of the country, the more adverse impact they will suffer,” he said

He said, “On June 13, time was sought, on 15 the case was registered, and on June 17 there were raids. What is this approach, it is beyond comprehension?” Gehlot was in Delhi for several days to participate in the Congress’ protest against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED in a money laundering case and hence he termed the raid as part of the vendetta politics.

Meanwhile, as the assembly elections approach near, speculations are rife that more ED/CBI raids will be reported in Rajasthan, as it is a national trend that opposition stays under agency scanner.

In Rajasthan, this trend has already started and as polls approach near, definitely there will be a momentum seen in such raids, said Pratap Khachriyawas, state minister, Rajasthan.

–Ajit Weekly News

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