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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

BJP misusing Central agencies in poll-bound States, EC should intervene to ensure a level playing field: Congress

The Congress on Saturday urged the Election Commission to intervene to ensure a level playing field in Chhattisgarh as the Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it was probing allegations that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had received money from the promoters of the Mahadev betting app.

Congress leaders K.C. Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, and Abhishek Singhvi said at a press conference that the BJP was misusing the Central agencies during the elections in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. They said such steps revealed that the BJP was staring at a defeat in both States. The leaders also did not rule out the possibility of approaching the Election Commission over the “blatant misuse of the Central agencies” when the Model Code of Conduct is in force.

Mr. Venugopal said the ED and the Income Tax Department were the main weapons of the BJP during elections. “We saw in Karnataka that during the election itself, they searched more than 100 Congress candidates,” he said.

Mr. Venugopal said the public mood in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana was in favour of the Congress and the party would form the government in these States.

“In both Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan our governments are popular, and the schemes are reaching the common people of the States... But they [the BJP] have only one target, which is to damage the image and reputation of the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan just ahead of elections,” he said.

Mr. Ramesh said it was vendetta politics and the steps were being taken as the BJP was clearly losing in both States.

Mr. Singhvi said it was the Chhattisgarh government that initiated action against the Mahadev app. “Chhattisgarh police have registered more than 70 cases against the Mahadev App, arrested more than 450 persons, seized 191 laptops, 865 mobile devices, more than ₹1.5 crore worth of assets, more than ₹41 lakh in cash, and frozen bank accounts with estimated value of ₹ 16 crore,” he said, adding that due to jurisdictional limitations the State government had approached the Centre and its agencies to arrest Ravi Uppal and Saurabh Chandrakar, who are absconding.

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