BHUBANESWAR: Politics took centrestage on Thursday, a day after Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma's first attempt to submit documents related to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) notice on Wednesday.
Even as the opposition political parties wanted Dasburma to resign on moral grounds after the CBI issued a notice to him for submission of documents relating to Pajero vehicles owned by him, the BJD came to his defence by describing it as a 'political conspiracy'.
"The manner in which the issue was raised and subsequently, the CBI issued a notice, it smacks of a conspiracy," BJD spokesperson and former minister Pratap Keshari Deb said. He wanted to know why the issue was not taken up one and a half years back when the confession statement of Artha Tatwa chief Pradeep Sethy was with the CBI. Besides, why the matter was not mentioned in the chargesheet submitted by the CBI on the AT case, he asked.
Senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, who brought the issue before the media, said he had raised questions about the identity of the person mentioned in the confession statement. "The issue raised by me has turned out to be true," Mohapatra said.
BJP's Prthiviraj Harichandan demanded that Dasburma should step down on moral grounds. He can always be reinstated in the ministry after he is proven not guilty in the investigation, Harichandan said.
Earlier on the day, a team of lawyers, representing Dasburma, submitted documents related to vehicles owned and disposed of by the Minister as per the notice served by the CBI on April 4.
The lawyers submitted relevant documents pertaining to the vehicles in question to the Investigating Officer (IO) of CBI for compliance of Section 91 of the CrPC. Interestingly, Dasburma had sent an office executive, Gouranga Sahoo, to the CBI office on Wednesday to submit the documents but the CBI did not accept the same.
Talking to mediapersons, Mihir Mohanty, one of the senior lawyers said the notice was served under Section 91 of the CrPC which requires production of documents only. "There is no need for our client to come personally," he said.