BHUBANESWAR: The woes of Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma are far from over. Even as a powerful section in the ruling BJD, including three of his Cabinet colleagues, are pitching feverishly with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his retention, evidences seem to be going against Dasburma in so far as his alleged links with chit fund scam are concerned.
Close on the heels of the 'Pajero Scandal' involving the Minister, an unconfirmed video clip portrays the Minister heaving a sigh of relief after one of the chit fund accused blamed it on the journalists.
The video clip, whose source is not yet confirmed, shows the Minister talking to a group of friends how certain revelations before the CBI have become a boon for the ruling BJD.
While the Opposition is gunning for the Minister's head for his alleged links with the chit fund scam, the video footage has provided them more ammunition.
The BJP on Tuesday demanded a polygraph test of Pradeep Sethy, chief of ponzi firm Artha Tatwa Group, for making a volte face in the 'Pajero' issue. The party urged the Chief Minister to sack Dasburma after the expose by the private TV channel.
Alleging that Sethy had changed his version under pressure from the ruling BJD, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma told reporters here that the State Government is misusing its machinery to influence people to change their statement in order to shield ruling party leaders involved the scam.
"It was Sethy who had told the media that he had gifted a Pajero to Dasburma. Now he has changed his version. We strongly suspect that he is doing this under pressure," Sharma said.
The CBI should probe as to who met Sethy in the jail and in the court during this period.
Suspecting that Sethy's brother-in-law Manoj Behera, currently posted as inspector-in-charge (IIC) of Baliapanda police station, might have acted as an intermediary for Dasburma, Sharma said the IIC should be brought under the purview of the CBI investigation.
On the other hand, the ruling party has dubbed BJP's allegations as politically motivated. The BJP is trying to derail the probe process by making such statements, BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy remarked.
Several attempts to contact Dasburma to get his reaction proved futile.