The Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested Punjab lawmaker Jaswant Singh Gajjan Majra in connection with a Rs 40 crore bank fraud case, hours after he was picked up by the probe agency officials from a public meeting.
The AAP MLA was summoned by the probe agency at least thrice but he skipped all the summons.
The AAP has hit out at the BJP for a “plot to defame us”. “He was facing problem before joining AAP. It is BJP’s plot to defame us… the way he was picked by ED, during a public meeting, shows BJP’s tactics of defaming and coercing AAP,” party spokesperson Malwinder Kang said.
In September last year, three premises linked to the Aam Aadmi Party leader, including his residence, were searched by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with an alleged Rs 41 crore bank fraud case. The searches yielded “Rs 16.57 lakh in cash, foreign currency (of an unspecified amount), and incriminating bank and property documents”, the agency had claimed.
According to the CBI, the case against Mr Majra and others, including the Tara Corporation Limited, was registered based on a complaint by a Bank of India branch in Punjab’s Ludhiana. The case also named several individuals, senior executives and others, as well as “unknown public servants”.
ED action against Mr Majra comes amid a rash of action by central investigative agencies against opposition parties and leaders, including AAP boss and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The ED is also investigating Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel over claims he got Rs 508 crore in bribes in the Mahadev betting app owner. Chhattisgarh votes for a new government in a two-phase poll starting Tuesday, and Mr Baghel has slammed the BJP for having “weaponised” the ED.
Mr Kejriwal, meanwhile, was called for questioning on November 2 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case but skipped the call, opting instead to campaign in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann slammed the ED over its summoning of Mr Kejriwal, accusing the BJP of wanting to jail the party figurehead because he had prioritised the welfare of the people.
Days earlier, the ED had also searched locations linked to another AAP lawmaker – Kulwant Singh – as part of a drugs-linked money laundering investigation.
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