As Chhattisgarh turns into a political battleground, a fiery exchange ensued between state Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over their accomplishments in the naxal-infested state, with the latter calling for an open debate.
While addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh, the home minister openly challenged Baghel to debate with him over the work done by him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last five years.
Shah had said, "How come you are seeking our report card? I challenge you if you have the courage, to come and debate with us over your work in the last five years and that of Modiji in the past 15 years".
Baghel was quick to respond, accepting the challenge by the home minister while also posting a picture of a black sofa on ‘X’, having the names of Amit Shah and Bhupesh Baghel on both sides.
He wrote on ‘X’, "Home Minister Shri Amit Shah! I have accepted your challenge by going to the same Pandaria Assembly where you had challenged me to debate on the work. You have not yet told the stage, date and time but the public has prepared the stage. Please tell me the date and time," Baghel posted on X along with a picture of black sofa, having the names of Amit Shah and Bhupesh Baghel on both sides.
It is also noteworthy that the chief minister of Chhattisgarh is facing attacks from the BJP over the the Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s claim that he was paid ₹508 crore by promoters of now banned Mahadev betting app. Baghel has refuted the claims, alleging an "attempt to spoil" his image just before the assembly elections.
Baghel had said that his party will lodge a complaint to the Election Commission for tarnishing his image ahead of the elections.
The ED earlier claimed that a person identified as Asim Das, was sent from the UAE to deliver a large amount of cash for the election expenses of the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh. The probe agency said Das confessed that ₹508 crore has been so far paid to the CM by Mahadev app promoters.
On Sunday, the BJP shared a video of Shubham Soni, an accused in the Mahadev Book betting app case, who claimed to be the 'owner' of the online betting platform and had the 'proof' of paying ₹508 crore so far to Baghel.
Chhattisgarh is witnessing poll for 20 seats in the first of the two-phased election. Voting for remaining 70 seats will be held on November 17. The counting of votes is scheduled for December 3.