ED raids against former Uttarakhand minister Harak Singh Rawat

Rawat quit the BJP ahead of the 2022 Uttarakhand assembly polls and joined Congress

Rawat-Uttarakhand Harak Singh Rawat | X

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday conducted searches against Uttarakhand Congress leader and former minister Harak Singh Rawat as part of a money laundering investigation, official sources said.

The searches were carried out at multiple premises in Uttarakhand, including his residence in Dehradun, apart from Delhi and Chandigarh, they said. Rawat, 63, had quit the BJP ahead of the 2022 Uttarakhand assembly polls and joined the Congress.

The ED investigation is understood to be linked to alleged illegal activities in the state's Corbett Tiger Reserve.

The Uttarakhand government's vigilance department had also raided Rawat last year in connection with a probe into alleged large-scale felling of trees and illegal constructions in the tiger reserve.

Thousands of trees were allegedly felled and constructions were carried out in the reserve during Rawat's tenure as the state forest minister in the previous BJP government.

Apart from the Congress and the BJP, Rawat has also been part of the BSP in the past. He began his political career with the BJP in the undivided Uttar Pradesh, joined the BSP in 1996 and quit it two years later to join the Congress.

After a long stint of 18 years with the Congress, he rebelled against the previous Harish Rawat government to join the BJP in 2016.

He was expelled from the BJP in 2022 as he allegedly insisted on party tickets for himself and his daughter-in-law for the assembly polls.

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