Chandigarh: Threatening to sue him for defamation, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday tore into Aam Aadmi Party national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for, what he held defaming him in connection with the recent raids of Enforcement Directorate and calling him a ``dishonest man''.
Interacting with media, Channi after his rally at his own’s constituency Chamkaur Sahib, district Rupnagar, said that Kejriwal had crossed all limits by posting his picture on social media showing him with currency notes which had not been recovered from him.
He held that he had no connection with the money seized from his nephew’s home and that he was only responsible if the money was found from his, or his wife or his son’s house.
The ED had conducted raids in Punjab on January 18 at the premises of several people including his nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey, allegedly linked with the ``sand mining mafia’’. According to information, about Rs 10 crore cash had also been seized during the raids conducted in a three-year-old case. The assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Punjab on February 20 and the votes would be counted on March 10.
Channi who admitted that it was his failure that he could not keep an eye on the deeds of his kin, however, said still he was not responsible for the wrongdoing of people other than his family.
Alleging that Kejriwal was in the habit to level such baseless charges against others, Channi said that it was because of such allegations that Kejriwal had already tendered his apologies to Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, and Bikram Majithia. Channi asked the source of Rs 200 crore which he held had been spent by Kejriwal’s AAP in its propaganda campaigns across Punjab.
Immediately after raids, Kejriwal had hit out at Channi in a tweet saying the Punjab CM was not ``not an aam aadmi, but a bayiman aadmi (not a common man, but a dishonest man). Other AAP leaders had also alleged that if Channi’s relatives had earned so much, ``one could only imagine how much Channi might have earned’’. The
The Congress leaders including AICC media in-charge Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of planting the money to defame Charanjit Channi and said that the ED now meant election department which had crossed the limit of vindictiveness. Channi and his family had nothing to do with this case and the BJP was trying to take revenge from a Dalit chief minister, he added.
Channi too had held that the ED’s raids at houses and offices belonging to his nephew into money laundering allegations linked to the 2018 illegal sand mining case, was a ``vendetta politics’’ as he was not even booked in this three-year-old case. He went on to say that just like West Bengal, when there were polls, BJP targeted Mamata Banerjee’s relatives through central agencies, and now they were trying to put pressure on him and Congress leaders through ED raids.