Embattled former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda on Saturday alleged some political higher-ups had hatched a conspiracy to tarnish his image before the assembly polls and said he is ready to quit politics if money laundering charges against him are proved.

“I am very much aware that some political higher-ups are working against me. I shall expose them at an appropriate time,” Mr. Koda told PTI here.

The Lok Sabha MP, facing investigation by Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate on charges of amassing over Rs 2000 crore through hawala transactions and illegal investments, said he had struggled hard to reach a position in politics but his adversaries were “playing dirty tricks to tarnish his image“.

Mr. Koda, who has written a letter to the ED seeking rescheduling of the date of interrogation in view of the assembly elections in the mineral-rich state, claimed there was a political conspiracy to keep him away from the people before the polls.

Mr. Koda wrote that it was his basic right to participate in the polls and requested to fix a time after the elections.

“In case you do need some information urgently, you may let me know the details of your queries in writing and I will try my best to answer the same at the earliest possible,” the letter, a copy of which was given to media last night, said.

The ED has issued fresh summons to Mr. Koda, the third in a week, to appear before it in Ranchi on November 19. Earlier it had served summons for appearance on November 13 and 15.

“This (the charges) is a political conspiracy as people don’t want me to succeed as an independent legislator,” Mr. Koda earlier told reporters.

Claiming that the money laundering charges against him are “baseless”, Mr. Koda, however, said he would continue to co-operate with the investigating agencies.

The former chief minister said his supporters had recently floated an outfit ‘Jharkhand Navanirman Sena’ which would field six candidates in the elections.

Mr. Koda also threatened to file defamation case against a section of media for publishing reports tarnishing his image before the elections.

The media should publish reports with evidences. “But unfortunately that is not the case,” he said.

The ED has so far arrested Vikas Sinha, brother of Mr. Koda’s aide Binod Sinha, in connection with the case.

Mr. Koda, who was the chief minister between September 2006 and August 2008, won Singhbhum seat in the May Lok Sabha elections. Prior to that he was the Mines Minister in the Arjun Munda government.

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