Fears of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot have come true. Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is all over in Rajasthan to unsettle the government and Congress party before the elections. ED, on Friday, raided houses of close associates of PHED minister Mahesh Joshi in connection with the alleged Jal Jeevan Mission scam. Joshi is known to be a close aide of chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
According to sources, the intensity of ED's action will go up as election nears. A couple of weeks ago, ED had raided multiple places of RPSC member Babu Lal Katara and other accomplices in paper leak case. The arrest of Katara, appointed by the Congress government, brought embarrassment to the party. ED had also arrested and investigated a joint director of department of information technology and communication in relation with the cash amount of Rs 2.31 crore and one kg gold recovered from a locker from a government building.
“It's not only Rajasthan, ED is working ‘overtime' in Congress ruled Chhattisgarh also where the central agency has raided close confidantes of chief minister Bhupesh Bhagel. It's an act of vindication,” said a senior Congress leader.
The officials of PHED were under the radar of ED ever since the state Anti Corruption Bureau arrested engineers taking bribe from contractor, who had got the contract through fake certificates in connivance with PHED officials.
The searches are being conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Some documents and gadgets have been recovered till now, the sources said.
The money laundering case is understood to have stemmed from a Rajasthan Police FIR.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena had in June alleged a scam of Rs 20,000 crore in the implementation of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission' in Rajasthan.
He had alleged that tenders worth Rs 900 crore were issued to two firms based on fake experience certificates in 48 projects of the scheme.
”A scam of Rs 20,000 crore was committed under the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission… This was done together by the PHED minister and the department secretary,” Meena had alleged.
What is Jal Jeevan Mission
Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India with equal financial contribution of state and central government.
Alok Mathur is a law graduate. Journalism is his first love which he now pursues in the latter half of his career. Controversies and crime are the right triggers for him.