Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi-led government of “mudslinging”, “muckraking” and “hatchet jobs” by using its “dirty tricks department” – the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate – to hide its “massive failures”.
Singhvi’s remark came a day after the Enforcement Directorate raided three properties owned by industrialist Robert Vadra and his aides. Vadra is the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Unidentified agency officials said the Enforcement Directorate is investigating “commissions received by some suspects in defence deals” and illegal assets abroad.
Singhvi accused the government of throwing all constitutional, legal and administrative norms “in a dustbin” to “target and tarnish an individual for sheer and petty political reasons”. “CBI, ED, Income Tax Departments are acting as ‘slaves and bonded labourers dancing to the tunes of ‘His Majesty’ – Master of Deception – Shri Narendra Modi,” Singhvi claimed.
The Congress leader alleged that the Enforcement Directorate had a licence to “flout all norms and harass” when its officers raided Vadra’s premises on Friday. He claimed the officers raided the residences of Vadra’s associate, his sister and in-laws without any first information report or search warrant. “The raids have been carried out in a completely illegal fashion with no employee or lawyer being permitted to enter the premises,” Singhvi said.
He also claimed that four employees of Vadra were illegally detained during the searches, physically assaulted and threatened of further beatings. “A sick child of an employee was neither permitted to speak to his father, nor any arrangement was made to provide any medical aid,” he claimed. Singhvi also accused the officers of forcibly confining the wife and child of one of Vadra’s employees to a single room while conducting their searches.
“The officers refused to identify themselves and clarify what agency they were from,” the Congress leader said. “According to his [Vadra’s] lawyers, despite being informed that the keys were on their way, locks were broken and the premises were entered. Those who raided the premises took away every file, all documents and every shred of paper from the office.”
Singhvi accused the deputy director and assistant director of the Enforcement Directorate of being the “co-conspirators to execute the nefarious and illegal order of Director [Sanjay Kumar Mishra] at the instance of Narendra Modi”.
The Rajya Sabha MP said the Modi-led government has given Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairperson Sushil Chandra two extensions after retirement. “He is a conduit and a willing tool to carry out the illegal whims and orders of the prime minister,” Singhvi claimed.
“Congress party fought the British and decimated them to win Independence for India,” Singhvi asserted. “We also met every other challenge from across the border and never bowed down. A despotic prime minister and a government mired in crime can never deter the Congress party and its leadership for speaking truth to the power.”