Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda acquired most of his alleged “ill-gotten wealth” by favouring private parties in the allotment of mining leases, electrification projects and transfers and postings of officials in the state, according to investigators.
On Friday, Vikas Sinha, an aide of Koda, became the first person to be arrested in the Rs 2,200-crore illegal assets case.
<b1>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) — which arrested Vikas on charges of money laundering in Ranchi — said he and his brother Binod Sinha, another prime accused in the case, acted as a bridge between investors and Koda, and carried out illegal transactions on behalf of the former chief minister.
“Vikas carried Rs 40 crore, which was ill-gotten money of Koda, from Ranchi to Kolkata,” said an ED source who did not want to be identified.
Vikas denied the charges. “Koda is from our constituency,” he said. “We knew him as an MP. We’re into business and we meet sometimes. (But) we never got any favour from him.”
The source said the income-tax department and ED had zeroed in on many mining and electrification projects that could have benefited during Koda’s tenures as Jharkhand mines minister (February 2005 to September 2006) and chief minister (September 2006 to August 2008).
Sources said ED officials might arrest Koda on Saturday when he is likely to be discharged from Ranchi’s ARA Memorial Weavers’ Hospital. He was admitted to hospital on Tuesday suffering from high blood pressure, giddiness and uneasiness.