In the midst of a high-stakes election season in Chhattisgarh, a political storm has erupted as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s name surfaced in a probe linked to the Mahadev betting app. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the ruling Congress party of using “illegal money” to fund their campaign for the upcoming state assembly polls, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced his concerns during a rally in Durg.
Prime Minister Modi, addressing the crowd, exclaimed, “Congress party’s Chhattisgarh government is leaving no opportunity to loot you. They did not leave even the name of Mahadev,” referencing one of the names of Lord Shiva.
Bhupesh Baghel became the focus of the investigation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate after a courier, arrested with ₹5 crore, claimed he was instructed to deliver the money to a politician named ‘Baghel.’ Furthermore, he alleged that the promoters of the Mahadev betting app had already paid Mr. Baghel a staggering ₹508 crore.
It’s important to note that the investigation is ongoing, and the allegations have not been independently verified by the probe agency.
Prime Minister Modi assured that action would be taken against all the accused once the BJP forms the government in the state. He stated, “Action will indeed be taken against those who looted Chhattisgarh. Account for every penny will be taken from them. I assure you once again, after the BJP government is formed in the state, such scams will be strictly investigated, and those who looted you will be sent to jail.”
Union Minister Smriti Irani also joined the criticism of Congress, accusing them of using “hawala” money to fund their campaign in the state. Hawala is an informal method of transferring money without physical cash changing hands, often working on an honor system. It is alleged that the Mahadev app facilitated large-scale hawala operations to funnel betting proceeds into offshore accounts.
In response to the allegations, Bhupesh Baghel has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has accused the Enforcement Directorate of a “malicious attempt” to tarnish his image ahead of the elections. He also leveled accusations against Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, suggesting that they turned to central investigation agencies after failing to challenge the ruling Congress in the state.
The political clash has intensified in Chhattisgarh as the state approaches the crucial assembly polls on November 7 and 17, with the controversy around the Mahadev betting app investigation casting a shadow over the electoral process.