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'Can there be a bigger joke?': Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel on ED's Rs 508 crore paid claim

Earlier, the ED claimed that a forensic analysis and a statement made by a 'cash courier' led to 'startling allegations' that Mahadev betting app promoters paid about Rs 508 crore to the Chhattisgarh chief minister so far, and that 'these are subject matter of investigation'.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Raipur Updated on: November 03, 2023 23:47 IST
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel
Image Source : FILE Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday accused the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of trying to tarnish his image ahead of the assembly elections. This comes hours after the probe agency claimed that Baghel was paid Rs 508 crore by the promoters of Mahadev App. He also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah used central agencies to overpower the Congress government in the state after they failed to do the same. 

Sharing a post in Hindi on social media platform X, he wrote, "As I have said earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party wants to contest Chhattisgarh elections with the help of agencies like ED, IT, DRI and CBI. Just before the elections, ED has made the most malicious attempt to tarnish my image. This is a political attempt to defame the popular Congress government which is being done through ED. In the name of alleged investigation of 'Mahadev App', ED first raided the houses of people close to me to defame them and now on the basis of the statement of an unknown person, it has accused me of taking Rs 508 crore." 

"See the cleverness of ED that after revealing the statement of that person, it has written in a short sentence that the statement is a matter of investigation. If no investigation has been done then issuing a press release on the statement of one person not only reveals the intentions of the ED but also reveals the bad intentions of the Central Government behind it. At present elections are going on in the state. Everything is in the hands of the Election Commission. Apart from the police, CRPF personnel are investigating. In such a situation, the question arises that how are people able to reach Chhattisgarh with such a huge amount? Is there any nexus between central agencies going on in this too? Has this amount been brought in those chests which have not reached by special plane with ED officers and security agencies?" he further said. 

Baghel said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah together are not able to compete with Congress in Chhattisgarh, so they want to contest elections with the help of investigating agencies. I have given open statements against ED and have been telling the public how ED works. She first decides the names of the people and then arrests them, intimidates them and forces them to take the names. For this she can go to any extent. Beating and threatening are normal things. Congress is ready. Every Congress worker is ready. The people of Chhattisgarh are with us to fight agencies like ED, IT. We will fight and win."

The ED earlier on Friday claimed that a forensic analysis and a statement made by a 'cash courier' have led to 'startling allegations' that Mahadev betting app promoters paid about Rs 508 crore to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. Asim Das, the cash courier, was arrested by the agency after it recovered Rs 5.39 crore from him in the poll-bound state. The Mahadev App and its promoters are being investigated by the ED under the anti-money laundering law.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said, "Saying such things is an insult to the public. People tell me that the Congress candidate is using money (for votes). The public wants development. I won people's hearts in Indore."

BJP leader Raman Singh said, "Now, I understand why Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh CM) is so afraid of the ED."

ED files first chargesheet in Mahadev App money laundering case

Just a few days ago ED filed its first chargesheet in connection with its money laundering investigation into the Mahadev betting app case that surfaced in Chhattisgarh recently. The prosecution complaint was filed by the federal probe agency before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Raipur on Friday, official sources said.

ALSO READ | Bhupesh Baghel paid Rs 508 crore by Mahadev App promoters, claims ED

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