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Coal Scam? Authorities Raid Congress Politicians' Homes in Chhattisgarh Investigation

© AP Photo / Ajit SolankiA woman works at a coal depot in Ahmedabad, India, Monday, May 2, 2022.
A woman works at a coal depot in Ahmedabad, India, Monday, May 2, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 20.02.2023
Approximately INR 600 million ($7.25 million) of a total $65 million of "extorted illegal money" was allegedly handed over to Congress Party politicians.
India's Enforcement Directorate searched more than a dozen locations in Chhattisgarh on Monday, including the residences of senior Congress politicians, in connection with a coal scam.
Local media reported that the homes of senior Congress Party members Devendra Yadav, Ram Gopal Agrawal, Girish Dewangan, R.P. Singh, Vinod Tiwari and Sunny Agrawal were raided as part of the investigation.
Chhattisgarh is currently ruled by Congress' state chief Bhupesh Baghel.
The raid comes in relation to reported irregularities regarding coal imports into the eastern state.

Senior government officials, politicians and business leaders and others are accused of extorting an illegal levy of INR 25 (approximately $0.30) per tonne on coal transported into Chhattisgarh. The law enforcement agency suspects that a total of approximately INR 5,400 million ($65 million) has been "extorted" over the last two years by politicians and others.

The money laundering case stems from an income tax department complaint registered following raids in June 2022. So far, nine people, including Chhattisgarh's administrative service officer, have been arrested.
Magunta Raghava Reddy - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.02.2023
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Following the news, state chief Baghel hit out at the federally-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by saying that the raids were “an attempt to divert attention."
“BJP is frustrated with the success of Congress Unite Indian Campaign (Bharat Jodo Yatra) and with the truth of billionaire Gautam Adani being exposed," Baghel complained on Twitter.
The raids come days ahead of the three-day plenary session of the Congress Party from February 24-26 in the state capital Raipur.