The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned the relatives of Vinod Verma, the political advisor to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in connection with its investigation into the Mahadev Book online betting scam. Verma's sons, Punarvasu and Tathagat, and his brother-in-law, Tukendra Varma, have been questioned by the ED. Verma's wife, Jaya, is also expected to be questioned on Thursday.
“ED has now called my family. I have left my two sons, Punarvasu and Tathagat, and brother-in-law, Tukendra Verma, at the ED office. My wife, Jaya, has been called tomorrow. The agencies can do whatever they want at the behest of the central government but they cannot break the morale of @bhupeshbaghel ji and his team,” he further wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
The ED is investigating allegations that the Mahadev Book app was used to illegally bet on cricket matches and other sporting events. The app is believed to have generated around Rs 5,000 crore in illegal revenue.
The ED has also initiated the process of issuing a red-corner notice against two operators of a Dubai-based betting platform who are believed to be the masterminds behind the Mahadev Book scam.
Verma has denied any wrongdoing and said that he is cooperating with the ED's investigation. He has also accused the BJP of trying to frame him in the case.
What is the Mahadev Book scam?
The Mahadev Book scam is the latest in a series of high-profile betting scandals to hit India in recent years. In 2019, the Supreme Court of India struck down a law that had prohibited betting on cricket matches. This decision led to a surge in the popularity of online betting in India.