Senior journalist Vinod Verma, who is accused in the “sex CD” episode last year, was appointed as political advisor to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The General Administration Department (GAD) appointed four advisors to the chief minister, including him.
While Verma was appointed political advisor to Baghel, another journalist Ruchir Garg, who quit as an editor of a Hindi daily and joined the Congress ahead of the just concluded assembly polls, was named media advisor to the Congress chief minister. Besides, Pradip Sharma was appointed planning, policy, agriculture and rural development advisor and Rajesh Tiwari as parliamentary advisor to Baghel.
Verma, a close confident of Baghel, was arrested from Ghaziabad in October 2017 by the Raipur police after a case of blackmailing and extortion was registered at the Pandri Police Station here on a complaint by BJP leader Prakash Bajaj. Bajaj had alleged that he was “being harassed over phone by an unidentified caller”, who told him he had a CD of his “aaka” (master).
The police had claimed to have recovered 500 CDs and some pen drives from Vermas residence during a raid. After Verma’s arrest, a “sex CD”, purportedly featuring the then PWD Minister Rajesh Munat, had surfaced in Raipur. Munat had termed the CD as “fake” and alleged it was made and circulated to tarnish his image. He had later filed a complaint against Baghel, the then state Congress president.
On recommendation of the then BJP government, the CBI took over the investigation of two cases related to the circulation of the CD. Verma was released on bail in December last year after the police failed to file a charge sheet against him in the mandatory 60 days.