This Article is From Jan 19, 2022

Not Aam Aadmi : Arvind Kejriwal's Dig At Charanjit Channi After Punjab Raids

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has siezed around Rs 10 crore in cash, including Rs 8 crore from premises linked to Punjab Chief Minister's nephew.

Not Aam Aadmi : Arvind Kejriwal's Dig At Charanjit Channi After Punjab Raids

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has been accusing the Punjab CM of links with the sand mafia.

Chandigarh/New Delhi:

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is not an aam aadmi (common man), but a dishonest one, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted minutes after Mr Channi's press conference where he accused the Centre of using central probe agencies to discredit him.

Mr Kejriwal quoted a news agency report with his tweet, that says cash and property-related papers were recovered by the Enforcement Directorate after raids on Mr Channi's nephew's house. 

"During a search at Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi's nephew Bhupinder Singh & his associate Sandeep Kumar's residence, some property-related documents and Indian currency worth more than Rs 6 crores recovered - about 4 crores at Singh's house & 2 crores at Kumar's house," news agency ANI had tweeted along with a picture of wads of currency notes, quoting sources.

The ED had yesterday raided Punjab CM's nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey's house in connection with a 2018 illegal sand mining case, causing controversy as it comes just weeks before the state assembly elections. The raids, in over a dozen locations in the state, were conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

"The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized around Rs 10 crore in cash, including Rs 8 crore from premises linked to a relative of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi," news agency PTI has also reported today.

Mr Channi has accused the BJP of using central agencies to threaten and arm-twist Congress leaders in the state ahead of the assembly election. "My nephew was tortured by the ED to implicate my name," he said in the press conference today. 

Waving a copy of the ED's FIR from 2018 in the case for which the probe agency conducted the raids, Mr Channi claimed that there are 26 names in the FIR but his nephew was not named. "I still say that if my nephew is guilty then take action but don't resort to vendetta politics," he said.

Mr Kejriwal had also attacked his Punjab counterpart yesterday, referring to a "live raid" by Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha in December last year at the bank of a river in the Jindapur village of Chamkaur Sahib - Mr Channi's constituency. Mr Chadha had claimed that the illegal sand mafia enjoyed the patronage of the ruling government. "Even if the CM claims he doesn't meet the sand mafia, it's clear today that he himself is the sand mafia," Mr Chadha had said in a press conference following his unusual "raid".

"Despite uncovering it (illegal sand mining), the chief minister did not take action and even tried to justify it. It is clear that he (Chief Minister) and his family are involved in illegal sand mining. What can be expected for Punjab's future from a person whose family is involved in illegal mining," Mr Kejriwal had said yesterday

The Punjab CM took a swipe at Arvind Kejriwal today, accusing him of strengthening the BJP's hand. He claimed that Mr Kejriwal was "very happy" about the raids in Punjab and said that Mr Kejriwal's relative was also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.

Voting for 117 assembly seats in Punjab is slated to be held on February 20. The counting of votes will be done on March 10.