Terming the money laundering charges against him as a "political conspiracy", former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda on Saturday in Chaibasa said he would cooperate with the probe into them and would quit politics if they were proved to be correct.
'This (the charges) is a political conspiracy as people don't want me to succeed as an independent legislator," Koda, a Lok Sabha MP, told newsmen.
The Jharkhand leader said some political adversaries were trying to frame him in disproportionate assets and hawala cases in order to extract political revenge.
Koda he was innocent. “I am innocent. All these reports about Rs 4,000 crore worth properties are only media creations. I am being framed because I am a tribal and some political leaders want to keep me away from the Jharkhand assembly polls. After I am over through all these, I will take my revenge.”
The embattled former chief minister said, he was being kept under custody and being prevented from meeting his people. He however hastened to add that he was cooperating with the Income Tax officials and would continue to cooperate in future too.
“There is a conspiracy going on to frame me. I do not have so much properties as is being alleged through the media”, Koda said.
Income Tax sleuths have been questioning him on and off from October 31 in connection with the Rs 2000 crore alleged hawala transactions and illegal investments after they conducted raids in 70 premises across the country and claimed to have found evidence in the case.
The ED has issued fresh summons to Koda, the third in a week, to appear before it in Ranchi on November 19. Earlier the ED had served him summons on November 13 and 15.
Koda, who yesterday wrote to the ED expressing his inability to appear before it in Delhi owing to the ensuing assembly polls in the mineral-rich state, reached here last night.
Meanwhile, the noose is tightening around Koda, as top Income Tax officials have said that Koda's friends and associates have in their statements confirmed their activities in Jharkhand amounting to nearly Rs 200 crore. These relate to floating new companies, and buying sick state public sector units. IT officials said, Koda and his friends tried to convert Rs 50 crore worth black money into white by routing it through three Kolkata-based finance companies.
With two key figures – Sanjay Choudhary of St Stephens' educational background and Binod Sinha, prime wheeler-dealer for Koda – absconding, IT and ED officials may need a few more days to unravel the details of the overseas business empire. Binod Sinha's brother Vikas, who was taken to Delhi under custody, has got himself admitted to a Delhi hospital after complaining of stomach problem.
A report in Business Standard says, Koda and his friends, apart from giving out mining leases and electrification tenders, made a lot of money through transfers and postings.
A flat in upscale Doranda area in Ranchi was used to deal with transfers and postings, where senior IAS, IPS officers used to come. They were secretly photographed on CCTV too, sources told the newspaper. Koda and his men hired Devendra Mukhia, who is being interrogated, as their ‘sting operation specialist'. The clips were later used to arm twist the unsuspecting officers, the report said.
At the palatial bungalow on Kanke Road, mining deals and industrial projects were discussed and decided at night, sources told the newspaper. Koda was merely a rubber stamp who used his position to clear deals, but Sanjay Chaudhary and Binod Sinha worked as his brains.
A man who used to sell water pump spare parts in Chaibasa, Binod Sinha is now on the board of many companies floated by an industrial group. He along with Anil Bastawade rented a flat in Dubai on July 31, 2008 for 270,000 dirhams. The family also bought 12.11 acres of land in Chaibasa, the report said.
Sanjay Chaudhary, an alumnus of St Stephen's Delhi was a building material supplier in Chaibasa five years ago. Today, he heads companies like Mumbai-based Balaji group. IT officials have found documents showing hawala transactions for transfer of money on June 7, 2008 for “Sanjay bhai” in ”Camtech a/c”, the report said.