Odisha Congress Slams BJP Over Mahadev Betting App Row; Alleges Misuse Of ED Before Chhattisgarh Assembly Polls

Bhubaneswar: Mounting a scathing attack on the BJP-led Central government over Mahadev betting app row, Odisha Congress on Sunday accused it of using the Enforcement Directorate (ED) fearing defeat in Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.

Addressing a press meet in Bhubaneswar, senior Congress leader and former Minister Panchanan Kanungo slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over ED notice to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

If Modi and Shah have the courage, the Mahadev online betting app should be immediately banned across the country and its main kingpins arrested, he said.

Although the Mahadev app is public and operated across the country, Chhattisgarh is the first state to file more than 70 cases against it, the Congress leader said, adding that Chhattisgarh police have arrested 450 people.

They have also seized 191 laptops, 865 mobiles, assets worth more than Rs 1.5 crore, more than Rs 41 lakhs in cash and bank accounts of Rs 16 crores, he said.

The first case was filed on March 30, 2022 and Chhattisgarh police raided Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Delhi and other states and arrested many people. Investigation revealed that there is no branch or operation base for Mahadev App in Chhattisgarh, Kanungo said.

The Congress leader further said that Chhattisgarh Police issued a lookout notice in July 2023 after app masterminds and kingpins were found to be operating the app from Dubai. Apart from banning Mahadev App in Chhattisgarh, the state government has also requested the Centre to stop all its operations and stop its expansion across the country. But unfortunately, despite all this, the app is still functional, he said.

The Congress leader further claimed that the Centre decided to legalise online gambling and impose 28% GST on this unscrupulous activity. “We believe that since the BJP is funded by Mahadev App, it continues its immoral activities freely. The BJP is holding back on arresting the Kingpin, fearing that funding to the party will be cut off,” Kanungo claimed.

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