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Bid to frame me by misusing Central agencies: Channi

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi addresses a press conference after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cavalcade got stuck on a flyover in Ferozepur, at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI01_05_2022_000190B)

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi addresses a press conference after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cavalcade got stuck on a flyover in Ferozepur, at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI01_05_2022_000190B)

The politics surrounding the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids on the premises of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew on Wednesday escalated as the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the BJP were embroiled in verbal attacks.

Mr. Channi accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of attempting to target him ahead of the Assembly elections and ‘frame’ him by misusing the Central agencies. Relating the ED raids to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent event at Ferozepur that was cancelled, Mr. Channi said “a conspiracy has been hatched to trap me in this case through the Central agencies. They are taking revenge as I stood for the people of Punjab during the Prime Minister’s recent visit. This is sheer vindictiveness.”

Mr. Channi alleged that his nephew Bhupinder Singh alias Honey was tortured and pressured to take his name. “The ED has taken action based on a 2018 case, in which my nephew was not even named.” Mr. Channi also alleged that former Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who had been booked in a drugs case, and former Chief Minister Captain (retired) Amarinder Singh were behind the latest ED raids.

Hitting out at Mr. Channi, Capt. Singh tweeted, “ED doesn’t report to me @CharanjitChanni. Nor did I plant the money seized from your kin. So, stop blaming me for your family’s crimes. As I always say, the law takes its own course, something that @INCIndia forgot when they accused me of shielding culprits.”

Demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh accused Mr. Channi of patronising his family members in clandestine sand mining in the State.

2018 case: BJP

Mr. Chugh debunked the Chief Minister’s argument that it was the Centre’s vendetta, saying that the case was registered in 2018 after due inquiry when the Congress was in power at the Centre. The ED had only completed the investigation in a long-standing case. He said the recovery of ₹10 crore from the premises of Chief Minister’s nephew clearly proved that he continued recklessly in illegal sand mining for so long.

‘The loot of people’

The AAP co-in-charge of Punjab Affairs, Raghav Chadha, said the money found from the houses of Chief Minister’s relatives was that collected from the mafia and the loot of the people of Punjab.

“Mr. Channi is running sand mafia in his area. He and his relatives have earned crores of rupees from their association with the sand mafia and so far, information about illegal assets worth ₹56 crore have been received. A lot of gold and property papers have been recovered. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who pretends to be a common man, should answer that where did his relatives get so much money from?” said Mr. Chadda.

“From where did so much property, expensive vehicles, and money come to Mr. Channi’s relatives? How many more relatives of his have he made millionaires? If his nephew earned so much money in 111 days, then how much Chief Minister Channi has earned?,” quipped Mr. Chadda.


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 8:02:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bid-to-frame-me-by-misusing-central-agencies-channi/article38293682.ece