ED’s statement a malicious attempt to tarnish my image: Baghel

ED’s statement a malicious attempt to tarnish my image: Baghel

Mr. Baghel took to X where he posted a long rebuttal calling the ED statement a political attempt to defame the popular Congress government which was being done through the agency. File

Mr. Baghel took to X where he posted a long rebuttal calling the ED statement a political attempt to defame the popular Congress government which was being done through the agency. File
| Photo Credit: ANI

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) claim that it was probing an alleged payment of about ₹508 crore by Mahadev betting app promoters to him was a joke and a malicious attempt to tarnish his image. 

In a press statement issued earlier, the ED said it intercepted a cash courier, Asim Das, who was sent from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) especially to deliver the cash for “electioneering expenses of the ruling Congress party”. 

Mr. Baghel took to X where he posted a long rebuttal calling the ED statement a political attempt to defame the popular Congress government which was being done through the agency. He also questioned the very basis of the claim made by the Central agency.

“Look at the shrewdness of the ED that after revealing the statement of that person [Das], it has written in a short sentence that the statement is a matter of investigation. If investigation has not been done then issuing a press release on the statement of one person not only reveals the intentions of the ED but also reveals the bad intentions of the Central government behind it.” the Chief Minister wrote. 

Questions inflow of money

He added that because elections were going on in the State, everything was in the hands of the Election Commission even as he questioned the inflow of the money [₹5.39 crore] purportedly seized from Mr. Das. 

“Apart from the police, CRPF personnel are investigating. In such a situation, the question arises that how are people able to reach Chhattisgarh with such a huge amount? Is there any nexus between Central agencies going on in this too? Has this amount been brought in those boxes which have not reached by special plane with ED officers and security agencies?” Mr. Baghel wrote. 

His party colleague  and Congress general secretary in-charge, communications, Jairam Ramesh also took to X and wrote that faced with the prospects of a certain defeat in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the Prime Minister had unleashed his last and only remaining astra (weapon), the ED, “to damage the reputations of Congress leaders”. 

“But the people of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan are the Congress party’s Kavach. Mr. Modi’s threats and intimidations will only strengthen the resolve of voters who know this is just election drama reflecting the BJP’s desperation,” his post read.

Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP has trained its guns on the Chief Minister after the new revelation. Senior BJP leader and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said that while the links to the Mahadev betting app were already being linked to the secretariat of Mr. Baghel, it had now become clear that “Bhupesh was directly involved in all this”.

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