Mid-day meal scam case: ED raids Rajasthan home minister, Congress says linked to polls
This operation by the ED is believed to be connected to an ongoing investigation into the mid-day meal scam case.
JAIPUR: In the midst of the election year in Rajasthan, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted a surprise raid on Tuesday at the residence of State Minister of Home Affairs, Rajendra Yadav. This operation by the ED is believed to be connected to an ongoing investigation into the alleged mid-day meal scam case.
Reports indicate that ED teams simultaneously visited establishments affiliated with Minister Rajendra Yadav in Jaipur, Kotputli, Viratnagar, and other locations during the early hours of the morning. These teams are presently scrutinising company documents associated with Minister Yadav's business.
According to inside sources, the ED teams from Delhi also extended their investigation to the minister's relatives. It is reported that a group of officers and ED personnel conducted a thorough search at the minister's residence from 7 am to 5 pm. In the presence of the minister, the locks on two cupboards and a box were opened. Subsequently, several documents were discovered within.
It is worth recalling that approximately a year ago, in September, the Income Tax Department had conducted raids in connection with the Mid-Day Meal Scam case. During that time, enforcement actions took place at a total of 53 locations connected to Minister Yadav across the state.
As per available information, the minister and his relatives have numerous contracts related to the supply of food for the mid-day meal program. Minister Yadav holds the position of director at the Rajasthan Flexible Packing Factory Company, situated in Kotputli. Additionally, his elder son, Madhur Yadav, serves as the company's manager. It is worth noting that Yadav is also a Congress party MLA representing Kotputli.
The Congress party has vehemently criticized these actions, particularly in the context of an election year. Speaking to the media, Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari alleged, "Now, the ED in the country appears to be functioning as a frontal organisation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)." Tiwari described these raids as election stunts and asserted, "We have some of the finest police officers in the country. Yet, Sanjay Mishra's tenure was abruptly terminated following Supreme Court orders. This suggests that there may be undisclosed motives at play. Consequently, it can be inferred that the ED is working to diminish the BJP's credibility as a political organization. It is highly likely that similar tactics will be employed in future elections."
Meanwhile, Minister Yadav has consistently refuted the allegations made against him. He maintains that his family has been engaged in the business sector since 1950 and has no involvement in the mid-day meal program itself. Their primary responsibility is packaging, and they bear no responsibility for the contents of the sacks they supply.
Minister Yadav notably operates a factory in Kotputli dedicated to the production of nutritious food products. The ED's actions were prompted by allegations of financial impropriety related to this enterprise.
Within the purview of these developments, it's essential to highlight the existence of a company known as the Rajasthan Flexible Packaging Factory, situated in Kotputli. This company specializes in the manufacturing of packaging materials, specifically bags. During the earlier Income Tax raid, this factory had come under scrutiny in connection with irregularities concerning the supply of mid-day meals. Minister Rajendra Yadav serves as the director of this company, while the position of manager is held by his elder son, Madhur Yadav.
Rajendra Yadav, currently in his second term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing Kotputli, assumed the role of a minister for the first time. He has previously held the position of Congress District President in Jaipur Rural. Beyond his political career, Minister Yadav has a significant presence in the packaging industry. He operates state-of-the-art packaging facilities in Gurgaon, Delhi, and Uttarakhand, continuing a family legacy that traces its roots back to his father's era.