20 January, 2021

A Damp Squib?

Raids on Bhajan Lal's house shed no light on the JMM case

A Damp Squib?

THE action had been long awaited. The CBI raids on former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal and his sons' New Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh residences last week in connection with the Rs 3.55-crore Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) bribery case did not come as a surprise. But even when newspapers reported the seizure of cash and jewellery worth    Rs 42 lakh from Bhajan Lal's residence, the wily politician from Haryana was not ruffled. Just after the raids, he rather confidently addressed a press conference in Chandigarh, claiming that "each paisa seized by the CBI is accounted for".

But money and jewellery was not what the CBI claims they were looking for. Officials maintain that the seizure was accidental. According to sources, "some evidence had come up during the course of the investigation to indicate that Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldip Bishnoi collected money to bribe the JMM MPs" to save the minority Narasimha Rao government. The CBI conducted raids to corroborate the evidence.




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