BHUBANESWAR: A day after CBI summoned the wife of BJD MLA Prabhat Biswal for her links with Seashore Group of Companies which is embroiled in the chitfund scam and stepped up investigation into the business deal of BJD MP Rabindra Jena with the company, union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram sparked off a controversy stating there is nothing wrong if the probe into the scam is sped up before the panchayat polls.
"The matter is under investigation and the CBI has speeded things up. Where is the problem," the union minister said. The statement of the minister evoked strong reaction from BJD and Congress, who asked whether the BJP is trying to pressurise the CBI.
This is not for the first time that Oram has courted controversy for his statement on the chitfund scam and the role played by CBI. In a statement on January 2, 2016, Oram had said the state government should thank the Centre for letting it off the hook in the CBI probe in chitfund and mining scams.
Oram had said, “The Centre let them (the BJD Government) off the hook. Otherwise, they would have been finished by the CBI." The minister's statement has evoked strong response from the BJD. Party spokesperson Pratap Kumar Deb said the BJP has become demoralised and scared to fight the panchayat elections as they are not in touch with the people at the grassroots level.
Criticising the BJP for trying to politicise the CBI probe into the chitfund scam, Deb said, "We believe the CBI is probing the case as it handles other similar cases. The agency should not be pressurised."
"The statement of the union minister has made it clear that the CBI will function according to the convenience of the ruling BJP," Congress spokesperson Sarat Rout said and added, "according to the minister what is the problem in this."