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Baghel mustn’t be afraid of probe in Mahadev app ‘scam’ if he is innocent: Chhattisgarh CM

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai said his predecessor and senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel must not be afraid of an investigation against him in the alleged Mahadev betting app scam if he is innocent. In an interview with PTI as his government completed 100 days in power on Thursday, Sai exuded confidence the BJP would win all 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state as people are eager to see Narendra Modi as prime minister for a third term. He, however, added his party is not overconfident and does not consider the opposition weak. Asked about Baghel claiming he was being implicated in the Mahadev online betting app case, Sai said the former CM should not be scared at all if he is innocent. The state Economic Offence Wing (EOW) earlier this month registered a case against Baghel and 18 others in the betting app “scam”

on a report submitted by the ED, which has been probing the alleged money laundering part. Asked about alleged selective action against Baghel, Sai said “an accused never admits his/her offence.” Speaking about the works of his government, which came to power following the Assembly polls in November last year, the 60-year-old Sai said he had launched the BJP’s Lok Sabha campaign from Bastar on Wednesday and the massive turnout in sensitive areas like Narayanpur showed the level of people’s support for the party.

“Women are very happy with Mahtari Vandan scheme (monthly financial assistance for women), farmers were given money twice in the last three months (pending bonus for two years and input assistance for kharif marketing season 2023-24) and youth are happy with alleged irregularities in state public service commission being probed by the CBI,” he said. “Every section is happy and all these works will help us win all 11 Lok Sabha seats. On the other hand, the Congress is not getting candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. People of Chhattisgarh have seen Congress rule for five years (2018-2023). None of its 36 promises were fulfilled. The party has lost the faith of people,” Sai claimed. The nomination process for Bastar (the lone seat in the state which will go to polls on April 19) began on Wednesday but the Congress is yet to get a candidate, he said, adding leaders from that party were joining the BJP across the country. The remaining 10 seats will see polling on April 26 and May 7, while votes will be counted on June 4.

The Congress has so far declared candidates for just six seats. The ruling BJP has named candidates on all 11. Asked about challenges in some seats like Rajnandgaon, Sai said the BJP considers every seat as tough, adding that “we don’t consider our opponent weak and we do not get over-confident”. The welfare works done for villages, farmers, poor, labourers and women under the ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ motto by the Modi government in the past 10 years were being taken to the people along with the development done by the BJP in the state in the past 100 days as well as 15 years (2003-2018) earlier, the CM asserted.

“The people have strong faith in Modiji and want to see him as prime minister for a third consecutive term,” Sai said. Speaking on Congress’ allegations of his government not making its Naxal policy clear, Sai said, ” It is very clear. We want to hold dialogue with them and have offered talks. (But) if they continue to speak the language of bullets then we are ready to give them a befitting reply.”

The state government was setting up camps of security forces and basic amenities and welfare scheme benefits will be routed to villages within a five kilometre radius from them under the ‘Niyad Nellanar’ (your good village) initiative, Sai said. “I call such security camps as ‘suvidha’ camps. More than 25 basic amenities will be provided in such villages under ‘Niyad Nellanar’. There are 14,000 villages in five sensitive districts in Bastar region, which do not have electricity supply. These villages will be electrified through solar energy or by laying electricity lines under the scheme,” he informed. On being asked about Union Minister Amit Shah’s statement ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls that Naxalism will be wiped in five years if the BJP came to power, Sai said there was a “double engine” government and all the support will be available for the task. “The Union Home Minister is concerned about the (Naxal) issue and we are getting continuous support from the Centre,” Sai asserted.

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Source: Economic Times