Updated March 18th, 2024 at 11:21 IST

'Politically Motivated': Bhupesh Baghel After FIR Against Him in Mahadev App Case

Baghel, a Congress MLA, has been fielded by the party from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat.

Reported by: Digital Desk
The Mahadev app is still operational, Baghel claimed and asked if this was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's guarantee and good governance of the Vishnu Deo Sai government. | Image:PTI
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Raipur: Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday said the FIR against him in the Mahadev online betting case by the state's EOW was politically motivated and was done to defame him since the BJP anticipates massive loss in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Baghel, a Congress MLA, has been fielded by the party from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat.

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The state's Economic Offence Wing (EOW) registered a case against Baghel and 18 others in the alleged Mahadev online betting scam based on a probe report submitted by the Enforcement Directorate.

"The FIR was registered by the EOW on March 4 then why it was not uploaded in its website and made public? The FIR was made public on Sunday after a newspaper carried a report on this," Baghel said in the press conference.

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"In the FIR copy, my name was mentioned as accused at the 6th place. The content of the FIR in which names of the promoters of the app has been mentioned, does not have my name. The FIR is politically motivated, I was deliberately implicated under pressure. It was done due to political vendetta," he alleged.

Baghel said his government had registered 72 FIRs in connection with the Mahadev app since 2022 and around 450 people were arrested, adding that anti-gambling laws in the state were made more stringent in his tenure (between 2018 and 2023).

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The previous Congress government in the state had issued a lookout circular against Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, promoters of the Mahadev betting app and it was the responsibility of the Central government to ensure their arrest, he said.

"They were not arrested and during the last assembly polls, a twist was brought to the story with the entry of Shubham Soni. Till then there were only two promoters of the app Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal. Suddenly video of Soni was released from the BJP office, not from the ED office, in which Soni claims he is the app's promoter," Baghel said.

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"Then a person Asim Das Asim was arrested (in November) along with huge cash pile in a car. The four-wheeler seized from his possession belonged to brother of a BJP leader Amar Agrawal (now an MLA and former minister). Even pictures of Das with incumbent assembly speaker and former assembly speaker Premprakash Pandey surfaced," Baghel further alleged.

The Mahadev app is still operational, Baghel claimed and asked if this was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's guarantee and good governance of the Vishnu Deo Sai government.

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"Why have the promoters of Mahadev App not been arrested yet. Is there any deal? The BJP is anticipating massive loss in Rajnandgaon as well as in the entire state after I was made candidate from Rajnandgaon. Therefore I was falsely framed in the Mahdev app case to impact elections," he added.

"I am neither scared nor will step back with such moves", he asserted.

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Baghel also said details that emerged about the electoral bonds show maximum donation was given to the BJP by a company Future Gaming and Hotels Service, he said.

(Inputs from PTI. Except for the headline, Republic has not edited the content)

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Published March 18th, 2024 at 11:21 IST