ED raids on CM's kin an assault on Punjabiyat, voters will answer: Congress

Surjewala, Harish Choudhary allege Modi-Kejriwal tango in Punjab

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 18

The Congress on Tuesday said the Enforcement Directorate raids on the distant kin of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi were an assault on Punjab and Punjabiyat and people of the state would give a befitting reply to the ruling BJP for using ED as its "election department".

Addressing a press conference here, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and AICC in charge for Punjab Harish Choudhary accused the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party of being in cahoots in the state, with Surjewala saying, "The AAP and BJP are working together in the state. When the PM's security was stalled briefly, who jumped to his defence? It was AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. Today neither CM Channi nor the media knew about the ED raids. Who gave the first statement on the issue? It was AAP. In Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa, AAP and BJP are working together. One party commits a wrong. The other jumps to defence."

The Congress said Channi is not Capt Amarinder Singh who could be suppressed.

"All your surveys say CM Channi is most popular in Punjab. Punjabis were maligned during the farmers’ agitation also but Punjabiyat stood strong. The BJP is forgetting that Channi is not Capt Amarinder Singh. He is Charanjit Singh Channi. The attempt to muzzle him is a mistake. He will keep standing tall. The BJP is anxious about the good governance by Channi. During the PM's tour to Punjab, Punjabis were blamed. It was not the responsibility of CM Channi to fill the BJP's empty chairs. Even in that event, the CM stood with Punjabis and withstood the pressure to lathi-charge local farmers. This was not his mistake. Fake raids of ED cannot deter Congress leaders," Choudhary said.

He said Arvind Kejriwal was working as BJP's B team in Punjab. 

"Kejriwal unfortunately did not stand with Punjab during the PM's tour of the state. The ED raid is a weapon being used. It was earlier used against Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav. Punjabis are intelligent. They will answer the BJP in the upcoming elections," the AICC in-charge said, with the Congress accusing the BJP of going after the Scheduled Castes and poor people of Punjab by way of ED raids.

Surjewala said the Union government is "burning in the fire of revenge and is attacking farmers, Dalits and backward classes because they defeated the BJP in the recent bypolls."

"The BJP's election department ED is at work again. Today we saw the limit of the BJP's vindictiveness. To seek revenge on SCs, they have unleashed the ED on the SC chief minister even when the CM and his family have nothing to do with the case," Surjewala said.

The Congress cited the March 7, 2018 FIR lodged in a mining case at Rahon police station to say that none of the CM's relatives had been named in the case.

"One Kudratdeep is named among the accused. The case is ongoing. Kudratdeep's role in the case has not been established. Now, the ED has raided Bhupinder Singh Honey for being friends with Kudratdeep. Honey is the nephew of CM's sister-in-law but his name is not there in the FIR. How is the ED raiding him? When the ED found nothing against an SC chief minister and his family, the BJP has come into the electoral field with baseless charges," said Surjewala, terming the ED raids an assault on the dignity of Punjab and Punjabiyat which, he said, the poor and SCs of the state would avenge in the forthcoming polls.


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