I am being falsely implicated: Koda


Ranchi: Former chief minister Madhu Koda said Saturday that people jealous of him were conspiring to keep him away from the Jharkhand assembly polls by implicating him in the Rs.2,500 crore money laundering scam.

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“I fear I could be killed by conspirators. I will quit politics if investigation agencies prove that I invested in foreign countries or purchased land or mines in foreign countries. There is a conspiracy to keep me away from assembly elections as people are jealous of my (political) growth,” Koda told reporters in Chaibasa.

Koda Friday disappeared from his Ranchi home and surfaced in his Lok Sabha constituency of Singhbhum in the evening. He is trying to establish a connect with people in his constituency by playing the tribal card.

“I am being implicated as I belong to a poor tribal family. I will expose everyone at a suitable time,” said Koda.

He said there was a conspiracy to disassociate him from the people of his constituency. “One cannot keep me away from elections as this is my constitutional right,” said Koda, an independent.

His supporters have floated the Jharkhand Navnirman Morcha (JNM) and announced the names of five candidates to contest the coming polls starting Nov 25. Geeta Koda, his wife, is a nominee from the Jaggarnathpur constituency. In Jharkhand, a party with three to four seats can end up being the kingmaker.

The IT department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted raids at 69 places in eight Indian cities, including Koda’s home, since Oct 31.

Koda insists the raids were motivated.

A diary of Koda seized by the IT department reportedly names many Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders. “I will expose people who were instrumental in the raid,” he said.

Koda, who was in hospital for several days, appeared to be in good health as he met supporters and took part in various programmes. He covered 300 km by road to reach his hometown Friday.

Asked about the business of close associate Vinod Sinha, he said: “Ask Vinod Sinha about the charges against him.”

Koda initially managed to avoid questioning by the IT department as he was admitted to Apollo Hospital Nov 3. He was discharged Nov 8 and the department started his interrogation Nov 10. He took one day’s rest Nov 13 and went to his home in Chaibasa district.

“I have faith in the judicial system and I will cooperate with the investigation agencies,” said Koda.

He also dismissed allegations that he purchased 500 to 600 bikes and 25 to 30 Scorpios ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

On Oct 9, the Enforcement Directorate lodged a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Koda, three more former ministers as well as his associates Vinod and Sanjay Chaudhary.