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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Poll material raid: Congress demands CBI probe

Acting on the Congress’s complaint, the flying squad of the Election Commission of India raided the premises of UPL in Khar on Tuesday and seized election campaign material.

mumbai Updated: Apr 11, 2019 04:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
Poll material raid: Congress demands CBI probe
Poll material raid: Congress demands CBI probe
         

The state Congress on Wednesday alleged a link between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and a company, United Phosphorus Ltd, which is in the midst of a controversy for manufacturing election campaigning material for the BJP illegally. While the Congress has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, the BJP has rubbished the allegations.

Acting on the Congress’s complaint, the flying squad of the Election Commission of India raided the premises of UPL in Khar on Tuesday and seized election campaign material. The state Congress general secretary and spokesperson, Sachin Sawant, said on Wednesday that Pradeep Goyal, brother of railway minister Piyush Goyal, is a director in UPL, which is why the BJP government in Maharashtra did not take action against it. Sawant said the company was given a clean chit by a special investigation team over the pesticides that claimed lives of more than 40 farmers in 2017. He also alleged the company was given a ₹4,500-crore contract by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to dispose of the waste material at Deonar dumping ground. Sawant alleged the money earned from the contract was being used by the party for election campaign.

Railway minister and senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal said, “It is true that my brother, Pradeep, is the independent director at UPL, but I have no information on the dumping ground deal. Being an independent director, he has no role in the routine functioning of the company.”

Responding to the allegations related to the confiscated election material, Goyal said, “The owner of the company on whose premises the raid was conducted, has always been a well-wisher of the BJP government, so they wanted to contribute. But even before the material could be distributed, it has been confiscated.”

Vinod Tawde, education minister and senior BJP leader, said, “It is true that Pradeep Goyal is an independent director in the company that bagged the dumping ground deal, but it had to be cancelled as then Congress government refused to give the land. As the deal was cancelled, there is no question of any transaction.”

First Published: Apr 11, 2019 04:27 IST

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