Former Chief Minister Baghel is angry with MP Pandey’s comment on Mahadev app case

The Uncut

Raipur. Chhattisgarh. Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday criticized the statement made by BJP MP Santosh Pandey in the Lok Sabha regarding the alleged Mahadev app scam. He questioned why the app has not been banned despite the BJP government at the Center and the state. Baghel also said that he would write a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker against Pandey for making baseless allegations against him in Parliament.

Pandey, who represents Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon parliamentary constituency, in his speech in the Lok Sabha, without naming Bhupesh Baghel, alleged that the former chief minister, during the Congress rule in Chhattisgarh, was operating a betting racket worth more than Rs 6,000 crore in the name of Lord Mahadev. Reacting to his remarks, Baghel said in a statement that during his government (2018-2023) in Chhattisgarh, more than 70 FIRs were registered in connection with the Mahadev online betting app, several people were arrested and cash, mobiles and laptops worth crores of rupees were seized.

The former chief minister said, “Rajnandgaon MP Pandey has made serious allegations against me in Parliament that the former chief minister was operating a betting racket worth Rs 6,000 crore through the Mahadev app. The allegations are baseless.” Baghel asked, “The government has changed but the Mahadev app is still operational, so are they going to name it ‘Vishnu Dev Sai App’ now.” He said that despite the BJP being in power at the Centre and the state, the app has not been banned. We (the previous Congress government) had issued a lookout circular (against the app’s promoters). They (the app’s promoters) are abroad and it (the BJP-led Centre) is not able to catch them and bring them to the country.

He said, “I will write a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker for making baseless allegations against a person in Parliament who is not a member of the House. I will also take legal advice on this issue and take further action accordingly.” Chhattisgarh. In its FIR in the betting app scam, the Economic Offenses Investigation Branch / Anti-Corruption Bureau has named former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel along with the app’s promoter Ravi Uppal, Saurabh Chandrakar, Shubham Soni, Anil Kumar Agarwal and 14 others as accused.

After the BJP came to power here, the state agency registered the case in March this year on the basis of a report submitted by the Enforcement Directorate. The ED has so far filed three prosecution complaints (charge sheets) in the Raipur court in the money laundering case related to the Mahadev app. The ED had earlier also conducted several raids in the state in this case. The ED has also said earlier that the involvement of many high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats of Chhattisgarh has come to the fore in the investigation related to the Mahadev online gaming and betting app. The ED has arrested a total of 11 people in this case so far.

According to the ED, the estimated proceeds of crime in this case are around Rs 6,000 crore. Top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had targeted Baghel over the Mahadev app case during the last assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Bhupesh Baghel had earlier termed the ED’s action in the Mahadev betting app case as a ‘political conspiracy’ and accused the federal agency of working at the behest of its ‘political masters’.

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