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Politics hots up in Chhattisgarh after PCC chief, family members’ stage sit in

RAIPUR: In a swift move, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CGPCC) president Bhupesh Baghel, his wife and mother on Friday walked into the office of Economic Offences Wing to “surrender themselves” but later began a sit-in inside the office after EOW officials refused to arrest them in connection with a case registered against them last week on the charge of alleged irregularities in a more than two decades old housing scheme.

After EOW registered cases against Baghel, former minister and legislator, his wife Mukteshwari Bai and mother Bindeshwari reached the EOW office on Friday morning to surrender but the officials refused to arrest them. Accompanied by senior Congress leaders including the former leader of the opposition Ravindra Choubey and former minister Mohammad Akbar, Baghel and his family members began a sit-in inside the EOW office, alleging that the case was slapped on them due to political vendetta.

Scores of Congress workers gathered outside the EOW office, where the staff tried to prevent them from entering the premises but the crowd pushed the gates open to enter the premises. While leader of the opposition T S Singhdeo and other senior party leaders have also reached the EOW office, party men are still sitting camping there, raising slogans against the state government.

Meanwhile, PCC chief’s mother Bindeshwari complained of uneasiness and was examined by doctors. Later, she was shifted to a nearby hospital, state Congress general secretary Ramesh Varliyani told TOI.
Baghel allege that that the case was the fallout of a “nexus between Raman Singh and former chief minister Ajit Jogi to tarnish the image of the Congress party as the state is scheduled to go for polls by November next year.
Opposition Congress has been maintaining that the state government had tried to implicate the state Congress chief and his close family members in false cases due to political vendetta by digging up alleged irregularities in a 22 year old Mansarovar housing scheme of Bhilai. They also maintain it’s a ploy by the BJP government to counter the opposition party, which had raised many issues of corruption -both inside and outside the Vidhan sabha—besides filing petitions in the courts.

EOW had booked Baghel, his wife and mother and the then officials of the Special Area Development Authority (SADA) were booked on May eight for alleged irregularities in allocation of plots under the Mansarovar Scheme in Bhilai in Durg district.

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