Journalist Vinod Verma Appointed as Chhattisgarh CM’s Political Advisor

Vinod Verma, former journalist and member of Editors Guild on 20th December was appointed as the political advisor to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, whereas Ruchir Garg was appointed as the media advisor, Pradip Sharma as planning, policy, agriculture and rural development advisor and Rajesh Tiwari as the parliamentary advisor to the Chief Minister.

Verma, a close aide to Chhattisgarh CM was arrested from Ghaziabad last year on charges of extortion on complaint by Prakash Bajaj - a BJP leader. Bajaj alleged that he had received a call wherein the caller threatened to release an open CD of his “aaka” unless he gave money.

The video allegedly featured Public Welfare Department Minister Rajesh Munat and Verma was accused of distribution of these CDs. He was locked in Raipur Central Jail for 2 months and was released on bail after Police in Chhattisgarh failed to produce a charge sheet in the obligatory 60 days.

Moreover, in September 2018, a special CBI court had also sent Bhupesh Baghel, the then Congress president in Chhattisgarh, in judicial remand for 14 days for involvement in supposedly circulating the fake pornographic CD of Rajesh Munat. However the non-bailable extortion case found no mention in the CBI charge sheet.

Both Verma and Baghel have repeatedly denied any involvement in the preparation or distribution of the CD. Chhattisgarh CM had at first refused to apply for bail and remained in judicial custody for a couple of days. Baghel, who had said he was wrongly implicated in the case, later got bail from the court.

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