ED raids multiple locations in Bengal over MGNREGA irregularities

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Kolkata, Feb 6 (IANS) Amid the surfacing of CAG findings about the non-submission of ‘utilization certificates’ by the West Bengal government, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths on Tuesday conducted raid and search operation in different districts in connection with the irregularities in implementation of 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA.

As per the latest information available, raids are currently going on at four different places in the four districts of Hooghly, Jhargram, Murshidabad and North 24 Parganas.

Sources said that as the day passes more places in other districts might be added to the list of the raid and search operations by the ED sleuths.

Among the four places, sources added, two are at the residences of two state government officials who are linked to the process of implementation of the 100-day job scheme.

It is learnt that ED sleuths had been silently carrying out the background investigation in the 100- day job scheme based on specific complaints and inputs that they received. After the process of accumulation of the basic evidence was over the ED sleuths started these raid and search operations from Tuesday morning.

Sources said that currently, the focus of the investigation is how a section of the state government employees as well as some political functionaries played an instrumental role in carrying out the irregularities through the creation of fake job cards.

Political observers feel that the timing of the ED raids is extremely significant considering that the budget session of the state Assembly has started since Monday and BJP’s legislative team is charged up to attack the state government and ruling Trinamool Congress over the CAG findings on non-submission of utilization certificates.

The leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, on Monday, met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and discussed the CAG findings. Giving stress on the budget session, the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also cancelled her New Delhi trip to attend the meeting on ‘One Nation, One Election’.



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