Durg (Chhattisgarh) | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel over the alleged 'Mahadev' betting app scam, and said the Congress leader should tell what links he has with the accused in the case.
Modi was addressing a public meeting in Durg city of poll-bound Chhattisgarh, a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed that a forensic analysis and a statement made by a 'cash courier' have led to "startling allegations" that Mahadev betting app promoters paid about Rs 508 crore to Chhattisgarh CM Baghel so far.
Modi also announced that his government's free ration scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for 80 crore poor will be extended for next five years.
Accusing the Congress of abusing him and the entire Other Backward Classes (OBC) community, Modi said he was not scared of abuses.
"Congress government in Chhattisgarh has not spared any chance to loot you. They have not even spared the name of 'Mahadev'. Just two days ago, a major action was taken (by the Enforcement Directorate) in Raipur and a huge pile of cash was recovered. People are saying that this is the money belonging to 'sattebaj' (those involved in betting) and they have collected it by looting the poor and youth of Chhattisgarh. Congress leaders have been filling their houses with the same money," Modi said.
In the media, it is being published that the money is linked to him, the PM said, apparently referring to CM Baghel.
"The Congress government and the chief minister should tell the people of Chhattisgarh what link they have with the accused in this scam sitting in Dubai," he said.
"Congress' priority is to fill its coffers by indulging in corruption...Chhattisgarh says '30 taka kakka, apka kaam pakka'," PM Modi said, alleging 30 per cent commission in every work in the Congress government.
The PM said that for him the biggest caste in the country is the 'poor', and said he was their 'sevak' (servant).
He also accused political parties of hatching new conspiracies to divide the poor and spread the poison of casteism, he said.
The PM said the Congress does not want the welfare of the poor and does not want their condition to improve.
"Congress abused the OBC prime minister. Why does Congress abuse the OBC community? Why do they call 'Sahus' (an influential OBC community in Chhattisgarh) thieves?" he asked.
Polling for the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17.
Raipur | Amid allegations against him in connection with the 'Mahadev' betting app, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday asked why the Centre was not taking any action against its promoters.
Talking to reporters in Raipur, he described the ED's press note released on Friday over its money laundering probe into the betting app as the BJP's second election manifesto.
In its press note, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed that a forensic analysis and a statement made by a 'cash courier' had led to startling allegations that the promoters of the Mahadev betting app paid about Rs 508 crore to the Chhattisgarh chief minister so far, and that these are subject matter of investigation.
The ED also claimed that it had recovered Rs 5.39 crore cash from the courier, whom it identified as Asim Das.
These (BJP) people cannot fight directly so they resorted to ED and I-T to contest elections. Yesterday, two BJP manifestos were released. The first one was in Hindi on the letterhead of the BJP, while the other one was in English on the letterhead of ED, he said responding to a query on the betting app case.
Despite a lookout circular being issued against the promoters of the Mahadev betting app, they have not been arrested, said the Congress leader.
Baghel said allegations were levelled against him without carrying out any investigation.
In (Union home minister) Amit Shah's words, understand the chronology. The PM comes, the home minister comes and before that, the ED comes and then arrests (accused person) from a hotel. What was the Election Commission doing? How money reached here, the chief minister asked.
Baghel asked why Soni, Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal (allegedly involved in the case) have not yet been arrested and the app is still not shut. It means that PM ji and his party people have links with them. It is my direct allegation, he added.
A charge sheet was recently filed by the ED in the Mahadev app case where a total of 14 accused were named including main promoters Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal.
"Large scale hawala operations are done to siphon off the proceeds of betting to off-shore accounts. Large expenditure in cash is also being done in India for advertising of betting websites and self-aggrandisement necessary to attract new Users and franchise (panel) seekers," the agency had earlier said.
Congress-governed Chhattisgarh goes to polls in two phases on November 7 and November 17.