Listen to this article:
New Delhi: Just ahead of the Punjab assembly election, the Enforcement Directorate on January 18 carried out raids at 10-12 locations in the state – including the Mohali house of chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew.
Voting for 117 assembly seats in Punjab is slated to take place on February 20.
The ED has claimed that the raids are in connection with a probe against the ‘sand mafia’ and companies linked to alleged illegal sand mining in the border state.
The locations raided are spread across Chandigarh and Mohali. Action is being undertaken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials told PTI.
The ED action, reports have said, was initiated after taking cognisance of a 2018 FIR of the Punjab Police against some companies and individuals alleged to be involved in illegal sand mining in the state.
The main accused in this case is Kudrat Deep Singh, who had formed two companies, the directors of which are Bhupinder Singh, Channi’s nephew and one Sandeep Singh, reported Indian Express.
Opposition parties have earlier linked Channi with the dealings of Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, which the former had denied.
Polls are also scheduled in Uttar Pradesh, where officials of the Income Tax department conducted raids at the houses of two Samajwadi Party leaders and the aide of party chief Akhilesh Yadav in December 2021.
“I have said this time and again that as elections approach.. all this starts happening. Right now, now the tax department has come… the Enforcement Directorate will come, CBI will come, but the cycle [the Samajwadi Party’s poll symbol] will not stop… we will continue at the same pace … the BJP will be wiped out of UP,” Akhilesh had responded to the raids.
The IT department also conducted raids on nearly 50 premises of the Samajwadi Party MLC and perfume baron Pushpraj Jain, just before Pampi was to address a joint press conference in the noon with Akhilesh Yadav in Kannauj in late December.