CBI raids residence of Gehlot's brother for the second time in two years
Jaipur, June 17, 2022
The CBI on Friday conducted raids at the residence of Agrasen Gehlot, brother of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who is accused of buying potash required to make fertilisers from the government between 2007 and 2009 at subsidised rates for distributing to farmers, but making profits by selling it to private companies.
The case was investigated by the ED. The customs department had earlier imposed a penalty of Rs 5.46 crore on Agrasen's company.
On Agrasen's appeal, the High Court had stayed his arrest in this case. Now the CBI too has taken up the investigation.
The CBI team with officers from Delhi and Jodhpur reached Agrasen's residence on Friday morning when he was at home.
According to ED officials, Agrasen Gehlot's company Anupam Krishi was involved in the export of Muriate of Potash (MOP) fertiliser despite the ban on its export. Indian Potash Limited (IPL) imports MOP and sells it on subsidy to farmers.
Agrasen Gehlot was an authorised dealer of IPL. Between 2007 and 2009, his company bought MOP at a subsidised rate, but instead of selling it to farmers, it sold it to other companies. Those companies transported MOP to Malaysia and Singapore as industrial salt.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had exposed the fertiliser scam in 2012-13.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday expressed anger and surprise at the CBI raid at his brother's place in the morning and said that this approach is beyond comprehension.
"I had sought time from CBI and ED as well as from Income Tax chief for a meeting on June 13. However, the case was registered on June 15 and raids were conducted on June 17. What is the approach? This is beyond comprehension," he added.
"I joined the protest against the ED questioning Rahul Gandhi, so why is my brother being targeted? He has nothing to do with politics. No member of my family is in politics. It is beyond comprehension that first ED and now CBI reached his place. Even the general public does not like it. The more people you harass, the more backlash there will be for them," he added.
Gehlot said, "No one knows PM Modi's brother, in the same way my brother is not known. Earlier too, when the state government was in crisis, my brother's residence was raided by the ED."
"I came today, I will go to Delhi on Sunday and will take part in the movement again on Monday. You are torturing Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The company running the National Herald newspaper is a non-profit company. You can't take profit of one rupee, so how did money laundering happen," he questioned.
Gehlot stated, "I will again ask for time from the heads of CBI, ED, Income Tax. As the Chief Minister and a citizen, I will tell them what the public's opinion is of them in the country and why it persists."
"Today as the Chief Minister, and the Prime Minister in a democracy, we should hear people no matter whether the thing appeals to us or not. Now, they are bureaucrats, they should listen to us too; what is the problem in listening? I want to convey to them what I feel and do not understand the reason for not giving time," he added.
"I shall again appeal for appointment from ED, CBI and CBDTA and shall promise that I will not recommend for my family."
"This is their process, raids are being conducted for 8 years in the country, people are being put in jail and not getting bail; then comes apology, somewhere ED apologizes, somewhere CBI. Why is this happening? What was the matter with Shah Rukh Khan's son? The whole country has seen, there will be many such cases where such action has taken place and later they have to go on the back foot," Gehlot commented.
He said the agencies have a responsibility for they are bureaucrats; "you have the responsibility of serving the country, just like us."
"So you should think big and there is a limit to take pressure too, I believe that the interest of the country is paramount for all of us. Now let's see what happens, but we are not going to panic, we will fight," he added.