Centre makes Baghel sweat as ED goes into overdrive in Chhattisgarh

Centre makes Baghel sweat as ED goes into overdrive in Chhattisgarh

Bengaluru: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel addresses a press conference,in Bengaluru,on Sunday, May 7, 2023. (Photo: Dhananjay Yadav/IANS)

SUNDEEP POURANIK Raipur May 13 (IANS) The Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh is facing challenges on multiple fronts, and in the election year, these challenges could cause major troubles to the ruling party. These challenges are from outside as well as from within the party. The Congress is in a strong position in terms of MLAs' strength and the BJP is in 'no position' to pose any challenge to it. Despite this, the action of the central investigating agencies and the tussle within the party gives an idea of mounting troubles for the Bhupesh Baghel-led government in the state. Several administrative officials in the state had to go to jail in the past and the properties possessed by them raised many suspicions. Apart from this, there were arrests in the coal sector as well; and now, the case of alleged liquor scam has also surfaced in the state, which has triggered a fresh debate. In these cases, the involvement of the Congress government and its big leaders has not been directly revealed, but Raipur Mayor Ejaz Dhebar's brother has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged liquor scam. The corruption allegations being levelled against people associated with the state government and the surge in Maoist activities have emerged as major challenges for the ruling party. Besides this, there are also leaders who are not satisfied with the functioning of their own government. It is also said that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and state minister T.S. Singh Deo do not have cordial relations. The BJP calls the Congress government in the state a 'government of scams'. BJP MP Sunil Soni said that Chhattisgarh is "ashamed of all the scams done by the Congress government in the last four-and-a-half years, and some of these scams fall under the category of 'crime against humanity'." "A part of the liquor scam, a scam of Rs 2,000 crore, has now come to the fore with evidence," he claimed. "The ED has seized hundreds of crores of rupees in coal and other scams till now in the state, but the rice scam of Rs 5,000 crore done by Bhupesh Baghel has put humanity to shame," the BJP MP said. Congress spokesperson Dhananjay Singh Thakur, meanwhile, said that the BJP do not pose "any challenge" to the state government. "This is because the BJP does not have any issue. They just want to tarnish the image of the government by levelling false and fabricated allegations," he said. "As far as ED's action is concerned, the central agency is active only in those states where there is a non-BJP government. The ED has not been able to present any document in even one of the actions taken so far," Thakur said.

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