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Chh’garh: Surya drags Raman, blames former CM for ED case against him

He claimed he was facing a life threat, therefore should only be sent to judicial custody so that ED officials can be prevented from using third degree against him.

Statesman News Service | Raipur |

Politics has come full circle with the coal transport and mining kingpin Suryakant Tiwari, who is in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody since late last evening, is now trying to spill the beans claiming that he is being targeted at the behest of former Chief Minister Raman Singh for political gains.
Sent to 12 day ED remand yesterday, Suryakant told Additional Sessions Magistrate Ajay Singh that he was facing a threat to his life and the case filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate was politically motivated at the behest of former CM, Raman Singh.
Tiwari, who is engaged in coal transport, mining, and host of other highly suspicious businesses, had surrendered before the court on Saturday. His submission had a rippling effect on an overweening section within the ruling elites of Chhattisgarh. He claimed he was facing a life threat, therefore should only be sent to judicial custody so that ED officials can be prevented from using third degree against him. He also claimed that Dr. Raman Singh was trying to score political gains by victimizing him through ED.
Despite his going a bit overboard and bragging, the question remains what prompted his surrender? Is the threat to his life real? Since, Raipur, the capital city for 22 years now, is widely understood to be a town full of rumour mills, several theories explaining Surya’s surrender and about threat to his life have been doing rounds.
First theory suggests that he may have been tutored by a highly influential set of people who have stakes in the case to submit and play blame games to give the entire case a political colour .
Second theory suggests that the threat to his life may be real and those who have been anxiously watching the onslaught by the central agencies may also be a threat to his life. Such people are perhaps apprehending that if the probe continues with the same pace, they may eventually find themselves caught in a real quagmire.
Third set of observers believe that Tiwari might well be hiding under ED’s watch but when the threat to his life appeared real, they took him in custody. But why then Surya looked so tensed and insisted on his judicial custody than under ED’s custodial remand?
Whatsoever, may be the truth one thing that has upset the power corridors in the state is that Tiwari who has with him the treasure trove of top secrets related to high and mighty has finally fallen. They probably may have misjudged the legal course in false belief that court would adhere to his allegation against Raman Singh and ED, and would not grant ED with his remand.
An endless cycle of worries therefore, appears to be advancing towards these self- styled tsars as ED sleuths would surely want to know who sheltered fugitive Tiwari for more than a fortnight? Who was hiding him from the ever widening ED net?
Principal opposition BJP, which has been reorganizing itself to take on boisterous Bhupesh, did not even bother to guard its leader Raman. The soft spoken former CM, despite cases against his son Abhishek, never shied away from attacking the Congress regime.
Tiwari who had been missing since October 11 when ED sleuths raided more than 15 premises related to his family members, friends in administration and politics, accomplices and business associates. IAS officer Samir Vishnoi, Tiwari’s uncle Laxmikant and businessman Sunil Agrawal who were arrested by the ED early this month have already been jailed in this case.
He used to be a small time transporter cum broker engaged mostly in government supplies and gained notoriety with the advent of Congress dispensation in 2018. His residential and commercial premises were raided in July in which Income Tax sleuths had seized a huge quantity of sensitive documents related to illegal cash transactions and investments.
He also has a case against him in Bengaluru for allegedly crushing his mobile phone, attempting to flush it in a star hotel lavatory and chewing some important evidential documents. His influence is such that several IAS-IPS officers and MLAs of ruling Congress take pride in having a pic shot with him or accompany him in joyrides.
His fortunes saw phenomenal upswing after Congress ascended to power in 2018. He acquired an appetite for grabbing existing enterprises and businesses during these three years.
He first came to limelight when he allegedly accompanied more than 50 Congress MLAs in a chartered flight to Delhi discernibly to press the Congress brass to rethink its plan of change of guard in Chhattisgarh. The move angered Gandhi family but gave a lease of life to embattled Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
Meanwhile, ED officials have also been questioning Baghel’s Deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasiya, Raigarh Collector Ranu Sahu, her IAS husband JP Maurya and others for around a week now. They are accused of graft and money laundering. Sahu is widely seen as complicit with Surya in illegal acquisition of businesses and amassing disproportionate wealth during her stint as Collector Korba and Raigarh.
Sources indicated that some more high profile arrests by the ED sleuths was just a matter of time. It will further deepen the intense political battle in the state that has been silent witnessing the murky, meshy politics since its inception in November 2000.
ED began its raid on October 11 on more than 15 locations related to Tiwari, his family and associates, Ranu Sahu, JP Maurya, Vishnoi and former Congress lawmaker Agni Chandrakar along with others.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel who warned last month that his police will act tough against any complaint of hounding by the central agencies, appears to cut a sorry figure these days with almost all his key aides gradually inching closer to ED’s tightening grip.