Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday called the Enforcement Directorate an ”agent” of the Bharatiya Janata Party and dubbed the ED’s claim of unearthing an alleged liquor scam in the state as false and baseless.
As the Assembly polls were nearing in the state, the ”disappointed” BJP was trying to defame the Congress government using the ED, he claimed.
The state polls are due this year-end.
The ED on Saturday arrested liquor businessman Anwar Dhebar, the brother of Congress leader and Raipur Mayor Aijaz Dhebar, in connection with an alleged liquor scam.
In its remand application filed in a special court here seeking remand of Anwar, the ED claimed there was a ”massive scam” in liquor trade in Chhattisgarh by a syndicate, comprising high-level state government officials, private persons and political executives, that generated corruption money of more than Rs 2,000 crore between 2019-22.
The ED said Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Anil Tuteja was the “kingpin” of the syndicate along with Anwar and the corruption money was also used for electioneering.
Tuteja, a 2003 batch IAS officer, is posted as joint secretary in state’s industry and commerce department.
Talking to reporters at a helipad in Raipur, Baghel said, “The allegation of Rs 2,000 crore liquor scam in the state has been levelled by the ED just to save its reputation after it failed to unearth anything during its raids and investigation. The allegation is completely false, baseless and condemnable.” Baghel claimed the ED and other central agencies have been acting as ”agent” of the BJP. Their only work is to ensure the BJP benefits in elections, he said.
But, no matter how many conspiracies the central agency hatches, the BJP will not succeed. The Congress government will expose every conspiracy of BJP leaders and the ED, the CM said.
He also termed the ED’s claim of decline in revenue collection from liquor in the state as “baseless” and said the data shows a significant rise in revenue collected from liquor sale under the current Congress government as compared to the previous BJP regime.
With inputs from News18