PM Modi's poll pitch of locking up corrupt gets going

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) "In the last five years, I have brought them to jail doors, give me another five, they will be inside," Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in April at an election rally in Gujarat's Junagarh.

Well within the first 100 days of Modi government's second term, the probe agencies are working overtime to fulfil Prime Minister's poll promise.

Former Home and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a dramatic turn of events on Wednesday night in the INX Media case, is the biggest name to be put behind bars, while many other prominent personalities continue to face the heat from the probe agencies.

Robert Vadra was grilled for hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on his alleged London properties and suspected links with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. In his own words, Vadra has been questioned for 70 hours and has made 11 depositions.

The latest on him is that the Delhi High Court has given him four weeks to file a rejoinder to ED's reply to his petition seeking quashing of some charges against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED has also been questioning Irfan Siddiqui, son-in-law of senior Congress leader and a close confidante of the Gandhi family Ahmad Patel, for his alleged links with the Sandesara brothers facing charges of money laundering.

The probe agencies have also gone after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's nephew Ratul Puri for serious economic offences. The ED and the CBI claim that he defrauded the Central Bank of India by siphoning off Rs 355 crore. He is under ED custody as his questioning is still underway.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is facing charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating in a Manesar land case and is also in the dock for the allotment of a plot to Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) in the National Herald case. He has already been questioned for several hours by the CBI for his alleged role in various land deals.

A Delhi court is also hearing a matter of framing of charges against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The public prosecutor claimed in the court that the investigators have evidence to prove that Pushkar may have been beaten repeatedly. Tharoor faces charges of abetting the suicide and subjecting a woman to cruelty.

Not only the Congress leaders, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is also under the CBI radar for his alleged role in a case of illegal mining.

Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party colleague Azam Khan, who has several criminal cases against him, too is under the ED's watch for his alleged involvement in large scale land grabbing.

--IANS

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