‘Political retribution’: Baghel after his name appears in Mahadev App case FIR | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Political retribution’: Baghel after his name appears in Mahadev App case FIR

Mar 17, 2024 08:54 PM IST

Chhattisgarh Police has filed a case naming former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel as an accused in the Mahadev Online Book app scam, estimated to be worth ₹6,000 crore

Raipur: Senior Congress leader and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday reacting over the first information report (FIR) registered against him in the Mahadev App betting scam by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW), said that the case is purely political and his name was added forcefully by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel (File Photo)
Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel (File Photo)

Addressing a press conference in Raipur on Sunday Baghel said, “The FIR against me was lodged on March 4 by the EOW then why was it not published on the EOW website till now? My name was later added after being pressured. This means the BJP fear losing Rajnandgaon seat and Chhattisgarh because they know my candidature will have an impact across the state,” said Baghel.

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He said that it was his government which took action against such betting apps in the past. The Congress government lodged 72 FIRs in connection with the Mahadev betting App, and arrested over 450 people in Chhattisgarh and across the country, he said.

Also Read: Former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel named as accused in FIR on Mahadev bets scam

The former chief minister claimed that not only in Rajnandgaon, but the BJP will suffer losses in the entire state due to his contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

“We also wrote to Google to close Mahadev App but there are a lot of betting apps that are still active. BJP has been in power for four months in Chhattisgarh and for the last 10 years in the Centre, what are they doing?” said Baghel.

He alleged that the BJP does not want to arrest the real culprits. “Shubham Soni gave a response in the presence of the consulate general, why wasn’t he arrested then?... Why aren’t those accused being brought back to India?” he questioned.

He further said that more than 200 ATM cards were seized, but these were operated from somewhere else.

“We also issued a lookout notice against Ravi Uppal. It was the responsibility of the Government of India to catch them but they did not catch them,” Baghel alleged.

Baghel claimed that his government was the one who wrote to Google to shut down the app.

Chhattisgarh Police has filed a case naming former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel as an accused in the Mahadev Online Book app scam, estimated to be worth 6,000 crore, a development that could lead to legal problems for the Congress leader ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Baghel has been charged with various sections pertaining to cheating, criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, and forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and sections 7 and 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act in a first information report (FIR) filed by the EOW in Raipur on March 4.

Those named along with Baghel in the FIR include Mahadev promoters Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, 16 other named accused persons, and “unnamed” bureaucrats, police officers and officers on special duty (OSDs) during his tenure as the CM. HT has reviewed a copy of the FIR.

The financial crimes probe agency had alleged in November 2023 that Chandrakar and Uppal paid bribes worth 508 crore to Baghel. The two are currently in detention in a UAE facility and extradition requests have already been sent through the ministry of external affairs.

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    State Correspondent for Chhattisgarh. Reports Maoism, Politics, Mining and important developments from the state. Covered all sorts of extremism in Central India. Reported from Madhya Pradesh for eight years.

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