BHUBANESWAR: The Congress on Sunday stepped up its campaign against Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma with senior leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra (Lulu) showing a photograph of the Minister with a chit fund scam accused.
Mohapatra told mediapersons here that the photograph in which the Minister is seen sitting with a chit fund scam accused in a Puri hotel was taken in April, 2014, two weeks before the Assembly elections in the State.
The hotel was raided by the police the same day in presence of an election observer following direction from the Election Commission and cash was seized, the Congress leader said and sought to know the identity of the chit fund scam-tainted person sitting beside the Minister.
Without taking any names, the Congress leader alleged that both the persons in the photograph patronised chit fund companies. Lulu alleged that besides these two persons, several others in the BJD had links with scam-tainted company Artha Tatwa Group.
A team in the BJD was working as facilitator between the party and the company, he said.
Dasburma refused to react to the allegations. BJD, however, dismissed the allegations as baseless and motivated. Raking up an issue two years after the election does not have any meaning as expenses of individual candidates and political parties are scrutinised by the Election Commission, party spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy said.
The former minister alleged that this is a well planned design to influence the ongoing CBI probe in the chit fund scam.
Referring to the photograph, Satpathy said there are also photographs circulated in the media showing gangsters Dhal Samanta brothers with leaders of different political parties.
Meanwhile, Excise Minister Damodar Rout, who had advised Dasburma on moral responsibility, made a volte-face and asked Lulu to furnish any evidence he has against the Minister to the CBI. “Both the leaders belong to Bramhagiri Assembly constituency and in my view, attempts are being made to defame Dasburma without evidence,” he said.