The Congress Wednesday accused the BJP government of using the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target Opposition parties, to divert attention from its “inefficiency, incompetency, and incapability” in governing the country.
In this context, the party mentioned The Indian Express investigation which showed a sharp spike in the number of Opposition politicians and their close relatives coming under ED’s scanner since the NDA-II government came to power in 2014.
The Indian Express investigation of court records, agency statements and reports of politicians booked, arrested, raided or questioned by the ED over the past 18 years has also revealed that as many as 147 key politicians were probed by the agency during this period and over 85 per cent were from Opposition ranks.
“The back to back raids by the ED is BJP’s attempt to divert, digress, and deviate the attention of the common man from inefficiency, incompetency, and incapability in governing this nation,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told a press conference at the AICC headquarters.
“According to a news report released today, since 2014, there has been a four-fold jump in ED cases against politicians, out of which 95% are from Opposition parties,” he said.
“The report shows that 121 prominent politicians have been under ED probe since 2014, of whom the agency booked, raided, questioned or arrested as many as 115 Opposition leaders — 95 per cent, and that, too, with a staff strength that is less than one-third of the CBI,” he said.
“This is in sharp contrast to the agency’s casebook in the UPA regime (2004 to 2014) – only 26 political leaders in all were probed by the agency. These included 14 from the Opposition (54 per cent),” he added.
Singhvi said the Government is misusing the ED to hide its “failures” on the economic front, the Chinese aggression at the border and rise in crime against women.
He claimed that the government has kept citizens in the dark for almost two-and-a-half years on the situation across the LAC in Ladakh.
“The friction between India and China, which was created post-May 2020, has only partially been resolved so far. The Congress party as well as media reports have been highlighting that China had occupied our land. However, the Prime Minister as well as the entire government kept declining this.
In an equally telling development, the village head of one of the last settlements along the LAC in Ladakh’s Chushul said today that in the past year at least three large grazing areas near the village have been turned into “no man’s land” or “buffer zones” after Indian troops pulled back from patrolling points in Kugrang Valley that includes patrolling points (PP) 15, 16 and 17,” he said.
“Similar to the front of national security, the BJP has miserably failed at the economic front as well. For instance, food prices in the current week have risen by 40%-50%….The Indian economy is undergoing a double whammy as retail inflation accelerated to 7% in August driven by high food and fuel costs, while factory output plunged to a four-month low of 2.4%. And India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $2.23 billion to $550.87 billion for the week ending September 9, according to data released today by the Reserve Bank of India,” he said.