Bengaluru, Aug 5: Reacting to ED raids on Congress leader Zameer Ahmed Khan’s properties in the IMA ponzy case, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president DK Shivakumar on Thursday questioned the inaction of the central investigating agency over the money spent allegedly to topple the previous JDS-Congress government to form BJP government in the state.
“Where did these departments go when JDS MLA Srinivasa Gowda stood up in the Assembly and said that he was offered Rs 5 crore by BJP MLAs – Ashwathnarayan, SR Vishwanath and CP Yogeshwar. Where did they go when Ramesh Jarkiholi said that CP Yogeshwar has taken crores of rupees in loan to fund Operation Lotus? Aren’t these cases of corruption, money laundering? Why did these departments not issue notices to them?” he told reporters at New Delhi in a veiled attack on the BJP-led central government.
If the Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate and the ACB are really serious of preventing corruption, they should have taken action against Gowda and others for carrying out Operation Lotus, Shivakumar said. “There cannot be two laws. One for BJP and the other for the Congress,” he said.
Both I-T and Enforcement Directorate are central government agencies. These two agencies are being misused to gain power, he said.
Shivakumar said the raids on Zameer is reprehensible and unnecessary because he had given answers to the investigating agency’s queries two tears ago. “Zameer is competent to deal with it within the legal parameters. Two years ago ED had summoned him and interrogated him, and he answered to their queries then. In the present case, the raid was unnecessary. I know how these agencies harass you,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, the ED had raided properties of Baig and Zameer in connection with the multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Ponzi scam.
The raids were held in their homes and offices. As many as 40-odd officials conducted the raids.
The IMA and its units had allegedly dispossessed thousands of investors and depositors of nearly Rs 4,000 crore.
The CBI had arrested Baig in November 2020 after prolonged interrogations after IMA’s Managing Director Mohammed Mansoor Khan had alleged that Baig had arm-twisted and taken Rs 400 crore from him and was refusing to return the money. The allegation was made in an audio clip that had gone viral. Since then, the suspended Congressman has been on the radar of the investigating authorities.
Even Khan alleged that Baig had taken about Rs 400 crore from him, a charge rejected outright by the latter. Mansoor Khan had fled from Bengaluru and was later traced in Dubai on June 9.
Baig had harbored deep disappointment against the Congress-JDS coalition government for ignoring him and began to hurl allegations against the Congress state leaders for not giving a ministerial berth in the cabinet.
He had launched a scathing attack on Congress general secretary KC Venugopal where he called him a buffoon. Baig had resigned from his assembly seat and tried his luck to join the BJP, but the saffron party not only denied him entry and the ticket for the by polls held last December.
The investigations into the IMA Scam has so far led to suicide by a senior IAS office BM Vijayashankar who was charged with bribery in the scam in exchange for a clean chit to the company in an internal probe. The Karnataka government had prosecuted two senior IPS officers Hemanth Nimbalkar and Ajay Hilori and suspended other three police personnel.