Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel, has responded sharply to the recent statements made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to Raipur. Baghel, firmly standing his ground, has pointed out that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax (IT) department already have the tools at their disposal for scrutiny. In a pointed remark, he stated, “Should they hang us upside down or deal with us directly? What more can they do besides sending us to jail?”
The political tussle escalated when, on September 2, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released a charge sheet against the Baghel government. In response, Chief Minister Baghel expressed skepticism about the allegations made by the BJP in their charge sheet. He contended, “We don’t have faith in the allegations made by the BJP in their charge sheet. It doesn’t warrant a proper response. There was no one found guilty; even the auditorium was empty.”
These remarks were made during an extended meeting involving the state Congress and the Election Committee on Saturday, where Chief Minister Baghel addressed the media.
Baghel elucidated that legal cases do not automatically lead to prosecutions. He explained that typically, the IT department conducts an initial investigation, followed by the involvement of the ED. Presently, discussions are underway about potentially referring the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In a touch of sarcasm, Baghel even suggested that it might be more appropriate to hand the case over to international agencies.
Amit Shah had earlier accused the Baghel government of promoting corruption and mismanagement in Chhattisgarh. He alleged that the Congress government had turned into an “ATM” for the Gandhi family, setting new records of corruption. Shah also expressed concerns about the uncontrolled religious conversion happening in tribal areas of Chhattisgarh.
Shah argued that only the BJP could rescue Chhattisgarh from the alleged corruption, atrocities, and misrule under Congress’s leadership. He questioned whether the people of Chhattisgarh wanted their youth to be enticed into online gambling. In response, Chief Minister Baghel pointed out that the BJP had not taken adequate measures to prevent religious conversions. He issued a warning that if the BJP were to come to power, those involved in corruption would be held accountable and disciplined.