Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has accused central agencies of acting under the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government, particularly in states gearing up for elections. One of the locations where the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches on Friday was the office of Minister Mahesh Joshi, as part of an investigation into alleged corruption related to a drinking water project. These recent searches are part of a series of raids happening in the run-up to the elections in Rajasthan.
According to sources familiar with the situation, the ED seized documents and files from Joshi’s office located in the state secretariat in Jaipur. Additionally, the residence of Subodh Agarwal, an official from the public health engineering department, was also raided in Jaipur.
The allegations stem from BJP Member of Parliament Kirori Lal Meena, who has claimed a massive ₹20,000 crore scam in the drinking water project in Rajasthan and implicated Joshi in it. Meena asserts that contractors submitted false experience certificates and documents for project tenders. In September, Meena stated that he had provided the ED with documents to support his claims.
In response, Joshi stated that the ED was free to conduct raids but urged them not to target innocent individuals. He said, “The ED has the authority to conduct raids, and I have no objections. They can collect all the documents and files they need. If they need to question me, I am prepared to respond. Their actions should be fair, targeting those found guilty while not troubling innocent individuals.” Joshi also pointed out that the tenders mentioned by Meena had already been canceled, rendering his allegations baseless.