Efficiency of Enforcement Directorate increased after 2014, says PM Narendra Modi

The efficiency of the Enforcement Directorate increased after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power at the Centre in 2014, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview on Saturday.

Speaking with Asianet, the prime minister rejected the Opposition’s allegations that the Union government was weaponising the central agencies against them and said the Enforcement Directorate has taken up several cases “without discrimination”.

This comes days after an analysis of official data by PTI showed the agency had registered 5,155 cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the last ten years as compared to the 1,797 cases filed in the previous decade. However, it secured conviction orders only in 36 cases, leading to the prosecution of 63 persons.

The prime minister told Asianet that the Enforcement Directorate had filed less than 1,800 cases under the Act before 2014.

“ED was sleeping at that time,” said Modi. “The fact that ED has taken up more than 5,000 cases in the last 10 years since the BJP came to power in 2014 shows their efficiency.”

The prime minister also said that the number of searches conducted has increased from 84 before 2014 to 7,000. He said the agency had seized properties worth Rs 5,000 crore before his party came to power and the amount seized rose to Rs 1.25 lakh crore afterwards.

“Why are so many people criticising such an efficient agency?” asked Modi. “Agencies like ED need to be transparent, independent and efficient if corruption is to be eradicated from the country. So even I, the prime minister, have no right to control the ED or other agencies or obstruct their functioning.”

According to the PTI analysis, raids by the Enforcement Directorate increased by 86 times between 2014 and 2024 – under the Modi government – as compared to the preceding decade when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power.

On April 3, The Indian Express reported that 23 out of 25 key Opposition politicians who faced action from central agencies were let off after joining the Bharatiya Janata Party or its partners in the National Democratic Alliance since 2014.

The leaders include prominent names like Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who defected to the BJP from Congress, Ajit Pawar, who joined the BJP-led Maha Yuti alliance in Maharashtra, and Suvendu Adhikari in West Bengal.

Opposition’s allegations

Contrary to Modi’s claims, the Opposition parties have alleged that the central agencies had been weaponised to arm-twist them into joining the BJP or the National Democratic Alliance.

In March last year, 14 Opposition parties moved the Supreme Court alleging that the Centre is misusing agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.

The Congress, the Dravida Munnetra Kazahgam, the Trinamool Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal were among the parties that had approached the Supreme Court, Bar and Bench reported. They had urged the court to frame pre-arrest guidelines to prevent misuse of investigative agencies.

Since then, the Enforcement Directorate has arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

On April 16, Soren moved a bail petition before a special court in Ranchi alleging that his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate was politically motivated and part of a conspiracy to coerce him to join the BJP.

The prime minister, however, has maintained that the Enforcement Directorate works independently and without the interference of the Union government.


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