The CBI and ED raids at the residence of Ashok Gehlot’s brother two times in the last two years have become the talk of the town in the state.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot went vocal against Prime Minister Narendra Modi warning him to be cautious while using these agencies or else people will not spare him.
"I would like to tell PM Modi that God gave you the chance to be the PM of the country. Don't make CBI, Income Tax, or ED treat the people of the country like this, or else the country will not spare you either.
"Gehlot was vocal against the Modi government as the name of his brother, Agrasen Gehlot, came to the forefront in a series of CBI and ED raids conducted against those criticising the ruling dispensation.
Agrasen’s residence and office were raided twice in the last two years. The first time was in 2020 by the Enforcement Directorate when there was a political crisis reported in Rajasthan and the second time in June 2022 when the Rajasthan Congress leaders were in Delhi to stand in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi who was being interrogated by the ED sleuths.
The Rajasthan CM took it as a political affair and hit out at the Centre."If I am active in Delhi or have participated in this movement for Rahul Gandhi, then why take revenge on my brother? When there was a political crisis here in 2020, the ED had raided my brother's place," Ashok Gehlot said at the airport here after returning from the national capital.
Gehlot with other Congress leaders was in Delhi when former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was being interrogated in the ED office and hence termed the raid as an act of revenge by the Centre.
He said, “We are not going to panic. No member of my family is involved in politics. It is beyond my comprehension that first they conducted an ED raid, and now they are carrying out a raid by the CBI.
People of the country have no taste for this. The BJP and the central government will be the losers. The more they harass the people of the country, the more adverse impact they will suffer."
Gehlot said that he sought an appointment with the Directors of the CBI and the ED and the Chairman of the Income Tax Department."On June 13, time was sought, on 15 the case was registered, and on June 17 there were raids.
What is this approach, it is beyond comprehension?" Gehlot said after being in Delhi for several days to participate in the Congress' protest against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED.
Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra described the action against Gehlot as an act of political vendetta. "Fearful of the Congress' revolution, the central government is intimidating the Congress leaders and their families through the CBI and ED raids.
Action against CM Gehlot's brother is proof of this.We will neither be afraid, nor bow down," Dotasra tweeted.Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called the CBI action ‘vendetta politics’.
“This is vendetta politics beyond all bounds. Ashok Gehlot was at the forefront of the protests in Delhi over the past three days, and this is the Modi government’s brazen response.
We will not be silenced,” Ramesh tweeted referring to the Congress’ protest against the ED in the National Herald case.However, officials confirmed that Agrasen Gehlot was already under the ED scanner for alleged wrongdoing in a fertilizer export case.
The central agency has alleged that in 2007 and 2009, large quantities of fertilizer were illegally exported. He was also accused of exporting a large amount of Muriate of Potash (MoP) to foreign countries that was meant for Indian farmers at a subsidised rate between 2007 and 2009 when the UPA government was in power.
Gehlot was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the case in 2020 as well. The ED had also raided ‘Anupam Krishi’, a business run by Agrasen Gehlot.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on the ED and the CBI to see if their teams will be sent to Rajasthan again as the state goes to the polls in 2023.Let’s wait and watch.Unlike other states, we have Gehlot who knows how to take it up directly with the opposition, said a senior leader of the party.