ED raids 25 locations in poll-bound Rajasthan

Searches were conducted at as many as 25 locations across the poll-bound state of Rajasthan by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday in relation to the money laundering investigation into the implementation of the Centre’s ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The federal agency is raiding Jaipur and Dausa in Congress-ruled Rajasthan including the premises of the Additional Chief Secretary in the Public Health Engineering Department, Subodh Agarwal. The searches also involve premises of some engineers, contractors and former state government officials, suspected to have links in the case.

The ED also carried out similar raids at several cities in Rajasthan, on September 1.

The Rajasthan Police‘s earlier First Information Report serves as the foundation for the ED’s money laundering case.

In June of this year, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena claimed that the central government’s “Jal Jeevan Mission” in Rajasthan was a Rs 20,000 crore scam.

He had claimed that in 48 of the scheme’s projects, two companies received tenders totaling Rs 900 crore, all on the basis of forged experience certificates.

Implemented by the Rajasthan Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ seeks to supply safe and sufficient drinking water through household tap connections.

Meanwhile, last month, ED also conducted raids at the residences of state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara in the capital Jaipur and Sikar. Moreover, state Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son, Vaibhav Gehlot, was also summoned for questioning in a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) case.

The move drew criticism from the ruling Congress which questioned the ‘timing’, ‘objective’, and ‘intent’ of the Central government.

Polling for all 200 seats in the Rajasthan Assembly will be held on November 25 and the counting of votes will be held on December 3.

(With inputs from ANI)

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William Murphy

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