Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday appointed journalist Vinod Verma, who is an accused in an alleged extortion and sex video scandal, as his political advisor. The General Administration Department of the government also appointed three other advisors to the chief minister, PTI reported.

Senior journalist Ruchir Garg, who worked with the Navbharat Times before joining the Congress prior to the Assembly elections, was appointed media advisor. Pradip Sharma was appointed planning, policy, agriculture and rural development advisor, while Rajesh Tiwari the parliamentary advisor to Baghel.

The government also appointed 1986 batch Indian Administrative Service officer DM Awasthi as the state’s director general of police, replacing AN Upadhyaya, who has now been posted to the Police Housing Board, The Indian Express reported.

Vinod Verma was arrested in October 2017 after a Bharatiya Janata Party worker filed a first information report claiming that he had received a call about extorting money, in which the caller said that he had a “sex CD” of his senior. The “senior”, who was state minister Rajesh Munat, filed a case alleging that Verma and Baghel had recorded a fake CD.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a chargesheet earlier this year alleging that Verma, Baghel, BJP leader Kailash Murarka and three others were involved in a conspiracy to make a morphed sex video of Munat and circulate it. Murarka was expelled from the BJP, but denied that Baghel was involved. A local court released Baghel, Verma and another accused, Bhilai-based businessman Vijay Bhatia, on bail in September. Murarka, on the other hand, surrendered in court.