ED raids: Opposition parties in Punjab turn up heat on Cong govt, demand Channi’s resignation | India News

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CHANDIGARH: Opposition parties on Wednesday targeted the Congress government in Punjab over the ED raids and demanded chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi‘s resignation following the seizure of cash from the premises linked to a relative of the CM.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids were conducted in connection with an anti-money laundering investigation against illegal sand-mining operations in the poll-bound state.
Cash amounting to over Rs 10 crore, including about Rs 8 crore from a relative of Channi, was seized by the ED during the raids.
BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh demanded Channi‘s resignation “for patronising his family members in clandestine sand-mining in the state”.
In a statement, Chugh alleged, “The ED raids have established that the Congress has been running sand mafias in the state under the nose of the chief minister”.
Chugh debunked the chief minister’s argument that it was Centre’s retaliation against the security breach in Ferozepur during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit, saying the case was registered in 2018 after due inquiry when the Congress was in power in the state.
“The ED has only completed an investigation in a long-standing case,” said Chugh.
The recovery of huge sums of money from the premises linked to the chief minister’s nephew proves his involvement in the illegal sand-mining, he added.
“The chief minister should own the moral responsibility of the case and resign from his post,” Chugh demanded.
Speaking to the media in Amritsar, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Recoveries of crores of rupees in cash made by the ED from the house of chief minister Channi’s nephew has vindicated our accusation that Channi is part of the the biggest sand-mining mafia in the state”.
Now, Channi has no right to stay on as the chief minister and should immediately resign from the post.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and party’s co-in-charge of Punjab Raghav Chadha too accused Channi of being involved in illegal sand-mining.
Chadha said he had last month “exposed” how illegal sand-mining was taking place in Channi’s assembly constituency Chamkaur Sahib, but the chief minister did nothing.
Channi has refuted the claims made by the AAP leader.
Targeting the common man image which Channi has tried to cultivate following his elevation as the chief minister last year, Chadha said, “Chief Minister Channi and his relatives have earned crores of rupees from their association with sand mafia. He (Channi) pretends to be a common man but should answer where did his relatives got so much money from?”.
“If such a huge amount is found from Channi’s nephew’s house, it is difficult to guess how many crores would have been seized if the raid was conducted at the chief minister’s house” Chadha said.
“How many of his (Channi) relatives has he made millionaires?” he said.
Meanwhile, Channi has dubbed the raids at the houses and offices of his nephew to probe money laundering allegations linked to the 2018 illegal sand-mining case as “vendetta politics”. He said his nephew was not even booked in the three-year-old case.
The Congress leader has accused the BJP-led central government of hatching a conspiracy to trap him in the case in which raids were conducted by the ED at many places in Punjab.

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