The Enforcement Directorate (ED) claims to have unearthed dubious transactions to the tune of Rs 68 crore between Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh alias Honey and his associates.
The investigative agency has also seized an unaccounted amount of Rs 10 crore in hard cash, gold worth Rs 21 lakh and a Rolex watch valued at Rs 12 lakh in the raid carried out on Honey’s premises.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken into possession papers and computers which show that the dubious transactions have taken place.
Documents pertaining to investments in real estate are also being scrutinised.
According to sources, in the coming days, ED may zero in on a cabinet minister who faced allegations of patronising the mining mafia when he held the mining portfolio in the Captain Amarinder Singh government. At least two sitting MLAs are also under the ED scanner. There is palpable tension in the Channi cabinet as ED is expanding its net every day.
The mining contractors are scurrying for cover as their income far exceeds the value of sand available at the mines allotted to them.
The CM too seems to be under pressure as was evident from the press conference he held on Wednesday. He hurriedly summoned Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Cabinet Ministers Tript Rajinder Bajwa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria to sit by his side while he talked to the media to defend himself.
Channi said that the ED was exerting pressure on Honey to name him as being involved in money laundering. All this was being done to malign the Congress which was sure to return to power after elections, he added.
With ED raids Channi has come under fire from his political opponents too. AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal has taken a jibe on the CM terming him a "khaas Aadmi."
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal has demanded Channi's resignation on moral grounds.
The BJP has termed the 111 days rule of Channi as an era of corruption.
Former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had publicly admitted that several ministers and MLAs of the Congress were involved in illegal mining. He had brought this fact to the notice of Congress president Sonia Gandhi also but to no avail.