Hitting out at Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel over the ED’s claim that he received crores from the promoters of the Mahadev betting app, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Monday said the ruling Congress was meeting its expenses for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections with money sent from Dubai.
Speaking to ANI on a visit to the poll-bound state on Monday, the Union Minister alleged that “the person running the Mahadev app” has confessed to giving Rs 508 crore to the Chhattisgarh chief minister.
“I am shocked that the Congress is fighting the Chhattisgarh elections with support from hawala operators in Dubai. Last night, the person running the Mahadev app revealed that he had given Rs 508 crore to Bhupesh Baghel,” the Union minister told ANI.
Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh CM on Monday questioned why the Election Commission has not taken cognisance of the allegations against him in connection with the Mahadev betting app case as the poll machinery had rolled into the state and the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
“The ED (Enforcement Directorate), and IT (Income Tax) officials were present at a meeting of the Election Commission in the state. Why has the EC not taken cognisance of this? A section of the media is reporting unfounded allegations against me. The Commission should have taken suo motu cognisance of this,” Baghel said at a press conference on Monday.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier named the Chhattisgarh chief minister in connection with the alleged Mahadev betting app scam, claiming that a cash courier confessed to paying Rs 508 crores to CM Baghel from the promoters of the app.
The ED claim gave the BJP fresh ammunition to come out all guns blazing at the Chhattisgarh CM during the ongoing campaign phase for the Assembly elections.
The polls for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly will be conducted in two phases — November 7 and November 17 — and the counting of votes, along with those of four other poll-bound states, has been scheduled for December 3.
The other four states going to polls this month are Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Mizoram.
Congress stormed to the hustings in Chhattisgarh in the 2018 elections, winning 68 of the 90 seats and hogging 43.9 per cent of the total votes polled.
The BJP had to be content with just 15 seats.