Former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel, has strongly criticized the Enforcement Directorate (ED), alleging that naming him in the supplementary chargesheet of the Mahadev app case is part of a “political conspiracy.” Baghel argues that the ED, acting under political influence, has designed the situation, pressuring individuals to provide statements against him and his colleagues. The ED’s recent chargesheet, filed on January 1, includes Baghel’s name based on a statement from a person arrested in connection with the Mahadev betting app case. The accused claimed to have been sent to deliver cash to Baghel.
Baghel vehemently denies the allegations, asserting that they lack any foundation and are driven by a political agenda. He accuses the ED of arresting individuals unfairly and using coercive tactics to elicit statements against him. The former CM argues that the ED’s actions have turned the investigation into a tool for political pressure and defamation, as per a report in the Indian Express.
The ED’s supplementary chargesheet also mentions Subham Soni, a promoter of ‘Mahadev Online Book,’ and driver Asim Das. Das, who was arrested on November 3, allegedly had Rs 5.39 crore seized by the ED. According to the chargesheet, Das claimed that he was tasked by Soni to deliver a substantial amount of cash to Baghel. This assertion is strongly denied by Baghel, who views it as part of a political agenda, particularly by the BJP.
In response to the ED’s claims, Baghel points out the retraction of statements by Asim Das while in judicial custody. Das wrote to the court retracting his initial statement, citing that the money found on him was intended for starting a construction business. He claimed to have given the statement against Baghel under pressure.
Bhupesh Baghel said that the ED’s investigation initially focused on money laundering related to the Mahadev app, has deviated into a political tool, undermining the original purpose of exposing criminal activities. Baghel emphasizes that the Mahadev app case should be free from political influence, and reveal the truth behind the illegal gambling operations.
The ED, on the other hand, claims that another individual, Chandrabhushan Verma, arrested in the online betting case, has also withdrawn his earlier statement. The ongoing developments in the Mahadev app case highlight the complex interplay between law enforcement, politics, and the pursuit of justice.