New Delhi: A highlight on Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) casebook has shown a sharp uptick in the number of politicians, mostly from the Opposition who has come under its scanner. An investigation report by The Indian Express reveals that a total of 121 prominent politicians have been under ED probe ever since the NDA government came to power in 2014. Among those politicians who were booked, raided, questioned, or arrested by the ED, as many as 115 are Opposition leaders — which makes it 95 per cent of total politicians.
This can be said as a significant increase in contrast to the probe agency’s casebook in the UPA regime (2004 to 2014) which had only 26 political leaders under its scanner and it included 14 from the Opposition (54 per cent).
As per the Indian Express report, the sharp rise in ED cases against politicians can mainly be attributed to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), a law that has been strengthened since it came into force in 2005. The PMLA act comes with stringent bail conditions, and provisions that grant the agency powers to arrest, and attach properties and assets, of the accused. The law also allows the agency to make a record of a statement of the accused before an investigating officer admissible in a court as evidence.


  • Congress — 24 Leaders
  • Trinamool Congress (TMC) — 19 Leaders
  • Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) — 11 Leaders
  • Shiv Sena — 8 Leaders
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) — 6 Leaders
  • Biju Janata Dal (BJD) — 6 Leaders
  • Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — 5 Leaders
  • Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) — 5 Leaders
  • Samajwadi Party (SP) — 5 Leaders
  • Telugu Desam Party (TDP) — 5 Leaders
  • Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — 3 Leaders
  • Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) — 3 Leaders
  • Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) — 3 Leaders
  • Communist Party of India (Marxist) — 2 Leaders
  • NC — 2 Leaders
  • Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — 2 Leaders
  • Ind — 2 Leaders
  • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) — 1 Leader
  • Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) — 1 Leader
  • SBSP — 1 Leader
  • TRS  — 1 Leader

Following these probes by the investigating agency, the Opposition has alleged multiple times they were being disproportionately targeted by the ED, most recently during the monsoon session of the Parliament. However, the government and the ED have strongly denied these allegations that its action is non-political and arises from cases first registered by other agencies or the state police.
The investigation report by the leading media house has also mentioned that “ED is now the new CBI”. This pattern has been noted after two specific episodes. The first happened on July 3, when the new alliance in Maharashtra moved to get its Speaker candidate elected, chants of “ED, ED” rose from the Opposition. And, the second episode is from August 21 when BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh claimed that the Centre had sent ED to probe various cases against TMC leaders in West Bengal since the CBI’s probes were moving too slowly.