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Mahadev app case: ED questioning Chhattisgarh CM's political advisor
Mahadev app case: ED questioning Chhattisgarh CM's political advisor

RAIPUR, Aug 28 : In a swift move ahead of the assembly elections, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday raided the residences of political advisor of Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, Vinod Verma, two officers on special duties and a Bhilai-based businessman, reportedly in connection with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases being probed by the central agencies.

ED, however, is yet to come up with an official statement regarding the cases on which these raids are being carried out at present. The raid on CM’s political advisor and OSDs came on the day when chief minister Bhupesh Baghel is celebrating his birthday.

ED investigators accompanied by paramilitary forces have been carrying out raids at several locations in Raipur and Durg district since morning.

Reacting to the move, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel took to X addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah saying, “Respected PM ji and Amit Shah ji, I am grateful to you for sending a priceless gift on my birthday by sending ED to the premises of my political advisor, OSDs and my close ones (sic)".

Vinod Verma, a former journalist, was made political advisor to chief minister in 2018 soon after Congress came to power. Presently, he holds a cabinet rank. Verma played a crucial role in elections in Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh and was considered as poll strategist when chief minister Bhupesh Baghel was made election observer by Congress party.

Verma is also a close relative of the chief minister. In the ED raids being carried out since Monday, some of the individuals are said to have close ties with the 'Mahadev App', which is an online betting platform being operated by natives of Chhattisgarh from the Middle East.

There were reports in last December indicating that the ED had initiated an investigation into banking transactions amounting to approximately Rs 5000 crore related to the online gaming application. Few of those raided on Monday were picked for interrogation in ED office in Raipur and the questioning is still under way.


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