2 held for duping astrologer by promising him entry in Congress

An insurance agent and a businessman were arrested for allegedly cheating an astrologer of Rs 7 lakh by promising him a prominent position in Congress party and a role in ticket distribution during recent Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh, police said Tuesday.

Vikrant Poddar (29), an insurance agent, and his associate Pramod Kumar Jain (50) were apprehended in connection with the case, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.

2 held for duping astrologer by promising him entry in Congress

The astrologer, Hari Dev Dwivedi, knew Poddar since 2006 and the latter had even given tuitions to Dwivedi's two sons. Early last year, Yadav said, Poddar told Dwivedi that he knew several senior politicians and claimed that he can make him a senior party functionary in Congress.

"He also told the astrologer that once appointed, he can play a vital role in the ticket distribution during Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh.Poddar then introduced him to one Jain and claimed he was a member of Telephone Advisory Committee. They told him that they will get him appointed as party in-charge of the state and for that he needs to pay Rs 7 lakh to the party fund," Yadav said.

Dwivedi was given an appointment letter on the letter head of All India Rajeev Gandhi Vichar Manch as National Secretary and Himachal Pradesh in-charge under the signatures of one Pramod Tyagi, National Chairman.

"But when Dwivedi made enquiries at Congress headquarters, he came to know that no such organisation was either affiliated or associated with the party and that he had been duped.

"He also found that Poddar Vikrant had left his home and was not traceable," Yadav said.

During investigations, police kept a close watch on Munirka and RK Puram localities and Poddar was apprehended while he was preparing to flee from Delhi.

Jain was apprehended from Shahdara. "Poddar earlier used to give tuitions at various education centres in Munirka and from there he had come into contact with Dwivedi. Jain is a businessman by profession and runs a cloth factory in Brahmpuri. He is also a Congress worker," Yadav said.  

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