ED raids Congress leaders  ahead of party’s national convention in Raipur from February 24


Ahead of the three-day national convention of Congress in Chhattisgarh state capital Raipur from February 24, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has raided the houses of several senior Congress leaders early morning on Monday. Sources said that raids were on at the houses of at least six Congress leaders.

The Congress leaders who were raided by the ED officials include State Congress Committee Treasurer Ram GopalAgrawal, Labour Welfare Board President Sushil Sunny Arawal, MLA Devendra Yadav, Spokesperson R P Singh and party leader Vinod Tiwari.

It may be mentioned, in the Coal Levy scam case of Chhattisgarh, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already arrested CM Secretariat Officer Saumya Chaurasia, IAS Sameer Bishnoi, coal baron Suryakant Tiwari, Deepesh Tank, Mining Officer Sandeep Kumar Nayak and Shiv Shankar Nag and nine other people.

Some IAS and IPS officers have also been summoned for questioning who are now on the ED’s radar, sources said, adding the raids on Monday is being linked to the coal levy scam even as an official statement of ED was awaited. 

The ED in different teams knocked on the houses of these leaders located in Raipur and Bhilai in the early hours of Monday. CRPF personnel have been deployed in the streetswhere houses of these leaders are situated. The Congress has called this action a conspiracy to disturb their national convention scheduled to be held from February 24 to 26 in which senior party leaders including president MallikarjunaKharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will participate.

It is said that that the ED officials raided Shriram Nagar, DD Nagar, Geetanjali Nagar, Mowa in Raipur and locations in Bhilai. 

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has given information about ED raids through his social media handle and written that today the ED has raided the houses of many of his colleagues including the treasurer of the State Congress Committee, the former vice-president of the party and an MLA. After four days there is a Congress convention in Raipur. “Our spirits cannot be broken by harassing our comrades engaged in preparations of the convention. The BJP is disappointed with the success of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and the truth of Adani being revealed. This raid is an attempt to divert attention. The country knows the truth. We will fight and win,” said the chief minister.

Bhilai Nagar MLA Devendra Yadav and his brother and Congress leader Dharmendra Yadav were also raided by ED. 

According to ED sources, this raid is related to illegal levy recovery of Rs 25 per tonne on coal transportation in the state and money laundering. In this case, ED had conducted the first raid on October 11, 2022. At that time action was taken simultaneously at 75 locations of officers and businessmen. It is alleged that the network of officers-businessmen had started illegal extortion in the entire state. Through this, more than Rs500 crore has been collected.

The Congress has gone on the offensive after raids on its senior leaders and decided to gherao the ED office in Raipur.

Divya Dubey

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