The BJP on Sunday targeted Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, saying that he was in the know of the Mahadev App scam and his claims that police acted upon the mobile application was bogus.
It also said that Mahadev Aap ran under the patronage of Baghel’s police with several policemen having collaborated.
In a post on X, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya opened a new front against the Congress, and said, "Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was in the know of the Mahadev App scam. Not just he knew, but as per information in public domain, he has received as much as 508 crore, so far."
He said, "Baghels claim that Chhattisgarh police acted against Mahadev aap is bogus. On the contrary, testimony of policemen reveals that they filed FIR for extortion and arrested low level operators and punters. Chhattisgarh police didn’t name either Saurabh Chandrakar or Ravi Uppal, the main accused, in any of the FIRs or charge sheet. They didn’t even issue RCN or request extradition, both in their powers."
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that it was only after the central investigating agencies stepped in, the two were named as accused, NBW (non bailable warrants) issued and RCN (red corner notice) sent to Interpol.
"Property worth 450 crore seized and an extradition process started," Malviya said.
He asserted that police have all the power to recommend shutting down of websites to Cdot, under Sec 69A of the IT Act. But no request was made by the Chhattisgarh Police.
"ED made the request. But since Mahadev panels work mostly on closed WhatsApp and Telegram groups, they can’t be centrally blocked," he said.
"Mahadev app ran under the patronage of Bhupesh Baghel’s police with several policemen having collaborated. Even SP Abhishek Pallav was seen in a sting accepting that many Chhattisgarh policemen are operating panels. Bhupesh Baghel is in the dock and he knows it," the BJP leader added.
His remarks came after the Congress came out in defence of Baghel and accused the central government of indulging in political vendetta as they are set to lose in the coming assembly election.
The party said that this is a clear cut conspiracy headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tarnish the image of the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and Congress for winning this election.
Senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and K.C. Venugopal all came together in defence of Baghel after the ED on Friday night claimed that Baghel was paid Rs 508 crore by Mahadev App promoters, as stated by an arrested accused.
India's financial probe agency, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday in a statement said that a forensic analysis and a statement made by a ‘cash courier’ had led to “startling allegations” that the promoters of the Mahadev betting App paid about Rs 508 crore to the Chhattisgarh chief minister so far, and that “these are subject matter of investigation”.
The ED also claimed that it had recovered Rs 5.39 crore cash from the courier, whom it identified as Asim Das.
A charge sheet was recently filed by the ED in the Mahadev App case where a total of 14 accused were named, including main promoters Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal.
Polling for the 90 member-Assembly in Chhattisgarh is scheduled on November 7 and 17 in two phases and counting of votes will take place on December 3.