The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at the residence and shop of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s brother Agrasen Gehlot in Jodhpur. Gehlot is a fertilizer trader and is accused of exporting subsidized fertilizer between the years 2007 and 2009 when the UPA government was in power.
According to the reports, Gehlot was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the case in the year 2020 as well. The ED had also raided ‘Anupam Krishi’, a business that is run by Agrasen Gehlot.
CBI raids underway at the residence of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s brother, Agrasen Gehlot in Jodhpur. pic.twitter.com/xwtkoK6bjn— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2022
Criticising the event, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called the CBI action ‘vendetta politics’. “This is vendetta politics beyond all bounds. Ashok Gehlot was at the forefront of the protests in Delhi over the past three days, and this is Modi government’s brazen response. We will not be silenced,” Ramesh tweeted referring to Congress’ protest against ED in the National Herald case.
This is vendetta politics beyond all bounds. @ashokgehlot51 was at the forefront of the protests in Delhi over the past three days, and this is Modi Govt’s brazen response! We will not be silenced! pic.twitter.com/Wbzo9lnAp0— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) June 17, 2022
The 2007 Fertilizer Scam
The fertilizer scam of the year 2007 refers to the illegal export of Muriate of Potash (MoP), which is imported by Indian Potash Limited (IPL) and distributed to the Indian farmers. It is alleged that Gehlot during 2007-2009 exported 35,000 tonnes of MoP to foreign countries that was meant for Indian farmers at a subsidized rate.
“MoP was meant for poor farmers of the country. Agrasen Gehlot, through his company Anupam Krishi, bought the MoP at a subsidised rate and later sold it at a high rate to countries like Malaysia and Vietnam,” the ED had said in 2020 after conducting searches. The ED also had said that the MoP was exported majorly to Malaysia and Singapore in the guise of industrial salt.
According to the reports, the scam is stated to be worth Rs 150 crores. Gehlot and his company in the past have also been slapped with a Customs penalty of about Rs 7 crore in this case.