Kopar Khairane
Interenational

According to Bhupesh Baghel to HT, "BJP has no response for Chhattisgarh model"

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Thursday that federal agencies were pressing individuals to “take his name” and accuse him in the midst of a series of raids by the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department on employees in his cabinet. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Baghel said that the claims were false and that he wouldn't be shocked if he was brought in for interrogation. However, he also expressed confidence that they wouldn't have any impact on the elections in his state, which are less than six months away.
You said last week that the Enforcement Directorate is attempting to unjustly accuse you. What evidence do you have to support this accusation?In Chhattisgarh, Income Tax raids were conducted for the first time in 2020, soon after the announcement of the results of the Jharkhand assembly elections. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens served as the BJP's campaign platforms there, led by Amit Shah. The BJP was expected to win re-election, but the results were completely in their favour. They were irritated when we began referencing the “Chhattisgarh model” during that election. As a result, IT detectives conducted hurried searches in Chhattisgarh, specifically targeting authorities, merchants, and entrepreneurs involved in the booze industry.
The second round of raids took place during the elections in Uttar Pradesh and Assam. They seek to repress us, in my opinion, because they believe the Chhattisgarh model is beyond their comprehension. Regarding what I mentioned, ever since the raids began in 2020, all ED and IT officials who go to Chhattisgarh for raids pressure locals to provide their names—or the names of certain officers or my son—in order to accuse me. Even during our meeting, I voiced my concerns about their operating method. Now that it has been documented, an accused in the alcohol probe said in court that he felt pressured to use my identity by a central agency.
In addition to submitting a charge sheet in the excise scandal, which they claim is worth $2,000 crore, the authorities first mentioned a coal levy scheme. Excise tax allegedly wasn't paid, according to certain claims.First off, they have not discovered any of the phoney bottling or false holograms they mention. All of them are just tales. Was there a loss to the exchequer, secondly? The Raman Singh administration created the current excise policy in 2017–18. Because a spirits prohibition was something we intended to enact because it was in our manifesto, we didn't modify it, the distillers, or the suppliers. However, throughout the lockdown, we saw that it continued to enter from states like as Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and others. When they could not get alcohol, many individuals turned to ingesting sanitizers or other chemicals and perished. In light of the fact that our landlocked state shares borders with seven other states, we recognised that this was not practical. The excise income most substantially grew from over 1,700 crore in 2018 to approximately 6,400 crore in 2022. Where then is the loss?
People have been imprisoned in connection with the alleged coal levy scheme, including your deputy secretary.
Since 2020, ED and IT had searched Saumya Chaurasia's office three times. She has most likely experienced more raids than any other police in the nation. Before these searches, she was not subject to any corruption allegations. We need to know what the agencies found in her house.
When you took office, you filed charges alleging corruption against BJP leaders, but no one has been taken into custody. Why? In the majority of instances where we formed a SIT, the accused went before the high court, obtained anticipatory bail or a stay order, and hearings have not been held since. The proper route is being taken.
Why then do you claim that those close to you are being targeted?The main cause is their inability to delegitimize the Chhattisgarh Congress administration. They can't orchestrate defections since we have such a huge majority. We have developed policies over the last four years for every segment of society, including farmers, young people, adivasis, women, and businesspeople. The vast majority of people, regardless of caste, gender, or area, benefit from our policies. Therefore, it is challenging for the BJP to defeat us.
What strategies would the Congress use to refute the BJP's claim that your administration is corrupt, especially in light of the recent raids?Your inquiry is predicated on the claim that a fraud of 2,000 crore rupees took place, despite the fact that the amount of moveable and immovable property that has been seized is only 200 crore. In their raids, they are include real estate constructed before to 2018. I can tell you that ED lacks an ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) number and is unable to operate without one. Without a foreseen crime, ED cannot investigate. The actions taken by ED are wholly unlawful. A spirits factory owner who was recently busted with jewels worth $26 crore has agreed to testify for the ED.
Do you believe that the future elections will be affected by these frauds?No, there won't have any impact at all on the election. The public is well informed. The majority of coal mines belong to the government of India, and coal transportation did not start with our administration. 52 mines are owned by SECL. Therefore, if there was a fraud involving SECL, why have SECL workers not been apprehended or questioned?
Are you the next to be contacted for a questioning?The Enforcement Directorate has unrestricted power. Hemant Soren Ji, Arvind Ji, Rahul Ji, and Sonia Ji have all been called. I am a tiny guy compared to our national leaders.

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