The CBI has registered a case related to the alleged diversion of fertilisers meant for farmers against Agrasen Gehlot, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s brother, and 14 others, and carried out searches at his Jodhpur home and 16 other locations in three states, officials said on Friday.
The CBI has named 15 persons, including Gehlot, and entities as accused in the FIR, they said. Over 60 officials of the CBI swooped down at over 17 locations in Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal to carry out searches in connection with the case, they said.
A team of CBI officials also reached Agrasen Gehlot’s residence in Mandore, Jodhpur, to conduct searches. The CBI has also named Deen Dayal Vohra, Amrit Lal Bandi, Brijesh Jairam Nath, Nitin Kumar Shah, Sunil Sharma and Praveen Saraf among others as accused in the FIR, they said.
Reacting to the development, Ashok Gehlot said he had recently sought an appointment with the Director of CBI and the ED and the Chairman of the Income Tax Department. He said, “On June 13, time was sought, on 15 the case was registered, and on June 17 there were raids. What is this approach, it is beyond comprehension?”
“If I am active in Delhi or I participated in Rahul’s movement then why revenge is taken from my brother. When there was a political crisis here in our government in 2020, at that time also the ED had raided my brother’s place,” Gehlot told reporters at the airport. Gehlot was in Delhi for several days to participate in the Congress’ protest against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED in a money laundering case.
Officials said the search operation can be expanded if the agency finds any new material related to the case. The case relates to alleged corruption in the import of muriate of potash (MOP), also known as potassium chloride, which was to be distributed to farmers at around 80 per cent subsidy offered by the government, the CBI has said.
The MOP imported for distribution among farmers was allegedly repackaged as industrial salt fluorspar and exported to South East Asian countries, Saudi Arabia and other markets, the agency alleged. The subsidy offered by the government was claimed by accused persons through sham transactions, officials said.