In one of the biggest raids in Rajasthan, the Enforcement Directorate on Friday seized Rs 2.5 crore cash and 1 kg of gold bars from the homes of a serving state government officer as well as a retired one. The searches were conducted in connection with an alleged scam in the Jal Jeevan Mission.
The development came a day before the BJP’s ‘Parivartan Sankalp Yatra’ begins in four parts of the Congress-ruled state – the first one is being flagged off by BJP national president JP Nadda from Sawai Madhopur on Saturday. Union home minister Amit Shah will flag off a yatra from Dungarpur on Sunday while defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to launch another one next week.
Teams from four states, including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, landed in Jaipur a day before the search operation. The ED teams were accompanied by at least 100 police personnel as part of protocol.
Two senior Rajasthan BJP leaders, including Alwar MP Mahant Balaknath, wrote letters to the concerned ministries alleging irregularities in the tendering process and procurement in Jal Jeevan Mission, which is a joint venture of central and state governments.
“It is one of the major cash hauls in Rajasthan. We raided across 20 locations in the state today and we have seized Rs 1.5 crore in cash and a kilo of gold bars from the residence of a retired officer of Rajasthan state service. We have also seized multiple documents of property investment to the tune of crores from his house. The properties were bought in the name of his family members,” a senior ED officer told News18.
“In a separate search operation, we have recovered Rs 1 crore cash from the residence of a serving tehshildar of Jaipur Development Authority. Both the officers are known to be close to the principal secretary of the concerned department and two senior cabinet ministers,” the officer said.
What is the case?
An FIR was registered with the anti-corruption bureau of the Rajasthan government on August 8 in connection with the Jal Jeevan Mission scam case. The allegations are related to irregularities in tendering and work process, procurement of raw materials and laying down of old pipelines. Questions were also raised about the depth of the pipe-laying work.
Balaknath wrote a detailed letter to the concerned department and the union ministry accusing state government officers, dealers and contractors of running a scam. News18 has accessed the FIR and the copy of the letter.