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Punjab: Channi says ED raids an attempt to put pressure, target him & ministers ahead of polls

Channi said that ED raids are an attempt to put pressure and target him and his ministers as the polling day drew near in Punjab.   

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
Ludhiana Published on: January 18, 2022 16:31 IST
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi 
Image Source : PTI

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi 

Highlights

  • Channi accused the BJP of misusing the ED to target rival parties' leaders ahead of the polls
  • He said that when there were polls in West Bengal, such attacks took place on Mamata's relatives
  • Opposition parties have earlier linked Channi with the dealings of Honey which the former had denied

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has lashed out at the BJP over raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on multiple locations as part of a money laundering probe against the "sand mafia" and companies linked to alleged illegal sand mining. The raids were also conducted at premises linked to Channi's nephew in Mohali. 

Channi said that raids are an attempt to put pressure and target him and his ministers as the polling day drew near in the state.

"When there were polls in West Bengal, such attacks took place on Mamata Banerjee's relatives. Now, in the same pattern in Punjab, ED is trying to put pressure, give trouble. An attempt is being made to create all kinds of pressure," Channi said.

"Not just on the ministers, chief minister, but pressure is being created on every Congress worker. Such an atmosphere is not good for democracy. When elections are near, they thought about conducting ED raids. But we are ready to bear all pressure, all troubles which they give. We will carry on with our electioneering and they will not succeed...," Channi said, hitting out at the BJP-led government at the Centre.

When asked at how many places have been raided, Channi replied, "What I have heard so far is through TV (channels) and media, I don't have concrete information. But ultimately, it is an attempt to target me and my ministers."

According to reports, premises linked to a person, identified as Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, are also being covered under the ED raids. He is stated to be a relative of Chief Minister Channi. At least 10-12 locations in the state, including Chandigarh and Mohali, are being covered by the officials of the federal agency and the action is being undertaken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED action has been initiated after taking cognisance of a 2018 FIR of the Punjab Police against some companies and individuals alleged to be involved in illegal sand mining in the state.

When asked to comment on this, Channi said, "In 2018, I was not chief minister. As you are saying it is based on the 2018 FIR, what is my connection with that, at that time I was not even chief minister. But somehow or the other, they have to target me and my ministers and attempt to put pressure, but let me say this that Punjabis never come under pressure."

Asked if he sees political vendetta behind the raids, Channi told reporters, "You know what all programmes happened during the past few days, and you and people know that very well...now this attempt to put pressure on me and the Punjab Congress will not succeed."

Notably, opposition parties have earlier linked Channi with the dealings of Bhupinder Singh alias Honey, which the former had denied.

With PTI Inputs 

READ MORE: ED raids Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi's relative premises in Mohali