Jaipur: Almost a month before the polling date for the Rajasthan Assembly election the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday issued a summon to Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot in foreign exchange violation (FEMA) probe.
At the same time, the central agency conducted raids on the residence of state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara and Independent MLA Om Prakash Hudla. While there is no official statement by the central agency regarding the raids as per sources it was linked with the alleged paper leak case of a senior teacher grade II competitive examination, in 2022
Summoning Vaibhav Gehlot
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot himself revealed the ED notice that was sent to his son Vaibhav Gehlot. On the social media platform X, Gehlot posted "Date 25/10/23 Congress launches guarantees for women of Rajasthan. Date 26/10/23 ED raid on Rajasthan Congress President Gobind Singh Ji Dotasara, Summons to my son Vaibhav Gehlot to appear in ED. Now you can understand what I have been saying that ED's Red Rose is happening inside Rajasthan because BJP does not want women, farmers and the poor in Rajasthan should get the benefit of the guarantees given by Congress."
As per the notice Vaibhav has been asked to appear before the probe agency's office either in Jaipur or in New Delhi on Friday, though as per sources Vaibhav has sought some time as the notice was received on October 25th.
The notice has been given under the various sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, Income Tax Act, and CrPC, and as per the sources it is linked to the recent ED raids against a Rajasthan-based hospitality group and its business relations with Vaibhav Gehlot’s taxi company.
On the questions related to the summon given to Vaibhav under the FEMA act, CM Gehlot said that Vaibhav has no business in foreign countries. He is running a taxi company only. He will reply to the notice given to him.
Raids on Dotasara and Hudla
The ED conducted searches at 12 locations of Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasara and independent MLA Om Prakash Hudla who was recently made Congress candidate from his seat Mahwa.
The ED officials reached Dotasara’s residence in Jaipur and Sika at around 8.30 in the morning. He was there at his Sikar residence when the ED reached. First, he was enquired in the outside corridor and later in his residence. The searches lasted for about six hours on Dotasara’s Jaipur residence and almost the whole day on Sikar's residence. During the ED action, Dotasara posted ‘Satyamev Jayte’ on X.
The ED also conducted raids on the residences and other locations of independent MLA Ompraksh Hudla in Daousa and Jaipur. Hudla’s brother was allegedly involved in the question paper leak case. Notably, ED has been investigating the question paper leak cases for months in the state and had raided a coaching centre in Sikar two months ago. It was alleged that Dotasara has some links with the coaching centre, which he denied.
Last week, the probe agency had seized ₹24 lakh in cash along with "incriminating" documents after conducting raids at seven residential premises of Congress leader Dinesh Khodania, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party leader Spurdha Chaudhary, Ashok Kumar Jain, Suresh Dhaka, and others over the alleged leak of senior teacher second-grade competitive examination 2022 paper.
Dotasra is the Congress candidate from Lacchmangarh seat of Sikar against BJP's Subhash Maharia. He is also the sitting MLA from this seat, while Hudla is an independent MLA from the Mahwa constituency and has been given a Congress ticket recently.
The question paper leak case
Former Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) member Babulal Katara and two other people identified as Anil Kumar Meena and Bhupendra Saran were arrested by the ED in this case. It had first raided multiple locations in Rajasthan as part of this investigation in June. The money laundering case stems from FIRs filed by the Rajasthan Police against the accused.
The accused, “in connivance with each other leaked the question paper of general knowledge of senior teacher grade II competitive examination, 2022 which was scheduled to be conducted by RPSC [Rajasthan Public Service Commission] on 21.12.2022, 22.12.2022 and 24.12.2022 and provided it to appearing candidates for the consideration amount of ₹8-10 lakh per candidate,” the ED had said.
The troubles Gehlot faced in his tenure:
- Troubles started for Gehlot with the formation of the government as the then state Congress president Sachin Pilot was claiming the post of CM.
- In July 2020 Sachin Pilot rebelled with 18 MLAs
- The political crisis lasted for about a month.
- Gehlot did a cabinet reshuffle but could not adjust his loyalists
- The party sent three outside candidates for the Rajysabha polls and Gehlot had to manage the votes for them.
- One of his ministers Rajendra Gudha came up with a red diary and claimed that it had the record of irregular financial transactions made by Gehlot and his close aid Dhramendra Rathor